Paper dreams

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Have you ever wondered, “What exactly is my purpose on our little shining blue ball floating around in our vast universe?”

Have you?

Congratulations, so have I!

It took me the better part of my teenage years – if not very young adult life – to get to the stage where I thought, “Yes! Eureka! Yes, I found out what I am doing here!”

Translated, it sounded more like this, “I know where I am going to live!”

Part of the master plan that had been hiding in my unconscious mind had already been set in motion, albeit drifting rebelliously between my conscious and the harder to access unconscious level, before mischievously appearing again.

Continue reading “Paper dreams”

[Throwback Thursday] Balancing life and a chronic illness

Oh, you can bet I am willing, I am usually more than willing. When physical restraints curb your potential, you realise that you want so more from your own life, and out of your own reality. Life is moving forward outside your medically induced world, and you feel annoyed when healthy people don’t realise the worth of their bodies, their unused potential.

It simply reminds you that being chronically ill sucks.

It’s energy being depleted in all the wrong places. There is no uptake to being ill. There is no room for maneuvering when you’re faced with an illness that will -quite literally- be there until you draw your last breath. Do take it from someone who’s already stared death in the face because of it; it is so not all it’s cracked up to be, honey.

To read the whole post, please go to: Balancing life and a chronic illness

©WVE and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2017. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WVE and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

UNCRPD, Ireland’s ten-year moral outrage

UNCRPD, Ireland’s ten-year moral outrage

Ad nauseam.

Ah yes, you know the term.

In proper Wikipedia language, it reads “An argument or other discussion that has continued ‘to [the point of] nausea.” In Irish slang, “We are bloody well tired of talking or hearing about it.”

And that, dear reader, we are. Severely sick and tired of hearing that the Irish government will ratify the UNCRPD by a specified date, only to find out that they very silently forgot to live by that promise. Needless to say, having the gift of the gab in Dáil Éireann is an advantage, yet those we elected to represent our very needs refuse to use that gift when it matters most. Continue reading “UNCRPD, Ireland’s ten-year moral outrage”

UNCRPD in Ireland – begging for change

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The last few months, I’ve read and watched more political news about Donald Trump than I could stomach. As a result, shortcut rambling and biased vernacular on Twitter now linger in my own vocabulary when I try to write.

While it is true that you cannot bring about transformation by using blank expressions or hyped-up buzzwords that portray unfairness, ignorance and baseless conjecture, there is a limit to what is morally and personally allowed. It’s fair to say, so, that I have never been so amazed and shocked by any politician in such a short time frame. More annoyingly, because I love psychology so much, I keep going back because I want to know more about Trump’s state of mind.

Continue reading “UNCRPD in Ireland – begging for change”

Hell is other people

da11fbf1c3e131f6b8f0649409bf6001To write is to have a third eye on the world. You watch the world spin day after day, and in your mind, you write social commentary to give it a place in your life. Quite often, though, after reading your perceptions a few weeks later, you realise that what you witnessed has completely lost its meaning.

Like this, I have seen the best and the worst of what mankind had to offer the past six months.

There are people in today’s society who have the purest and most thoughtful minds you can wish for. They add serenity and integrity to your life, and they always bring out the best in you.

On the other hand, there are toxic people who have never learned what altruism and dignity is, and who lack insight into what makes people – including themselves – tick. They go on the attack without working out a game plan first and have a habit of calling you “oversensitive” or “you are just misinterpreting me” when you try to verbally counter their attack. Continue reading “Hell is other people”

Ignorance

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I could call this a ‘letter to society’s ignorance’.

I could very well call it a ‘letter to my stupidity’.

While I will ponder about a suitable heading for this piece a bit longer, the topic is so well-known and dreaded, it is part of the dark fabric of life.

Continue reading “Ignorance”

No Place for Extremism

I may have been critical of my native country Belgium in the past, but yesterday’s events in Brussels solidified friendships and my love for my people’s resilience and way of life.

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IS, ISIL, ISIS, Daesh (or whichever way they want to be called next) may think they won another war on foreign soil, but the western world is ready to shatter further illusions of jihadism and hatred harder, faster and louder. There simply is no place for extremism in our world.

Many thanks to the emergency services, fire department, police, Belgian army and all those who helped people caught up in the terror attacks.

For updates on the ongoing situation, please visit the BBC News website here.

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© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Let’s be frank

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“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
(Charles Swindoll)

If you’re running behind on making a few new year’s resolutions, or perhaps call them ‘new year’s illusions’ by now instead, all is not lost. There are small things you can work on every day of the year.

Given its absurd sense of unpredictability, life with MS is challenging at the best of times. Anything turbulent added to it, and it soon becomes a slalom course with so many twists and turns that each one seems icier than the ones before. Continue reading “Let’s be frank”

Responsibility hurts

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Responsibility.

Fabulous for those who own it, bad for those who don’t.

I am one of those people who quickly feels guilty about having to cancel hospital or advocacy appointments when I’m too unwell to leave the house. It might be innate, or it might just be one of those famous Irish guilt-trip things that are attached to my dwindling Belgian roots. Either way, I often “suffer” from feeling “over-responsible” when I fail to do something.

After watching Dole Life, a program on Irish television about the difficulties young adults face trying to find and keep a job, the topic of responsibility and maturity was on everybody’s lips the following days and weeks. Shauna (Jake) had just started a new job, yet in the first week of her employment, she arrived late for four consecutive days. She said coming out as transgender was the reason for being late, but her reasoning didn’t help her cause, and it might, in fact, have turned more people against her than she intended to. Continue reading “Responsibility hurts”

Christmas… rescheduled!

Sometimes life just throws tantrums and curveballs because of your illness – missing out on Christmas with my nieces and uncle at the very last minute is just one of those moments. But then you realise that your family’s love, acceptance and support will keep you going long after the Christmas holidays, no matter what.

Instead of Father Christmas giving you presents, they want him to take away your sorrow.

They know that Christmas can’t be bought in a store, but instead is given in invisible mountains of love.

They feel your anguish and wished they could take your physical pain from you.

They root for you, uplift you and guide you.

You feel empowered by them being there, even when divided by country borders.

You know they believe you, even when you wonder if your illness has truly knocked you out cold, taken you hostage and you don’t understand the new rules of the game anymore.

Christmas is not found under a tree, but in the hearts of those who love and care about you.

Happy Christmas, wherever you may be.

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Image thumbnail About MeAbout Willeke

Willeke is a disability awareness advocate and originator of Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me. She actively writes for other people’s blogs as well as for the MS Society of Ireland blog.

Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.  Also check her new blog Kick-Ass Ireland.

©WVE and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WVE and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Trading pens and ink for bullets

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(Republished on request on November 15th, 2015 in memory of those who lost their lives in the latest Paris attacks)

Like many other people this week, I was horrified by the barbaric Charlie Hebdo massacre. Twelve people were killed in the Paris office of the weekly newspaper, a strongly anti-racist and left-wing satirical paper, sometimes publishing controversial Muhammad cartoons. It’s been on my mind since, and I’m not finding any answers to why and how people can mindlessly and effortlessly kill others for holding a different belief system. Continue reading “Trading pens and ink for bullets”

13!

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Thirteen years ago today I moved to Ireland. A teenage dream turned reality.

Little did I know that 2,5 years later, my life would be transformed in a way I had never imagined. Still, there are no regrets, and where anger could have resided, none is left for two chronic illnesses that could easily have been my downfall.

Not one to dwell on issues past, I never allowed myself to live in Oscar Wilde’s famous gutter for a long period. When he said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars,” I realise I still am that stargazer, that dreamer, that person who loves Irish history and sociology, nature and literature, photography and psychology.

I am also still that believer in historical and moral justice, a dreamer who wants to see eight centuries of domination over Ireland undone, but knowing all too well that from a political and royal viewpoint, this is dream one dream too many. Continue reading “13!”