“Poetry helps me express myself”
How did you get into writing poetry?
I’ve always been a fan of poetry and after my MS diagnosis I decided to give it a go. It helps me to clarify my thoughts and express myself. It’s important to me to give something back and writing is a way of doing that - but using less energy.
Is being creative important to you?
I love being creative. I sew, but I lack some sensation in my feet, so instead of putting my foot on the sewing machine pedal I use my hand. My sewing is a bit sqew-whiff, but I enjoy it. I’m also a gardener. My partner built me a beautiful greenhouse with a sitting down potting area.
Who are most important people in your life?
I’ve had counselling, and one of the things I learnt was to ‘put yourself on the same shelf as everyone else’. So, me of course! And my four children, my family and my friends. It’s important to have a good support network. My friends are brilliant. I can’t drive at night so a friend comes and takes me to a sewing club.
Do you have any advice on dealing with family life and MS?
I wrote a poem called The hamster wheel of love which is about feeling that if I stop everything will collapse. I had a bar set and now I’ve learnt to let go. It’s OK if my children wear odd socks. We do have to be organised as a family though, and my memory isn’t that good so I use alerts on my phone and we have a huge wall planner.
What helps you cope with MS symptoms?
Day to day, by resting. I have neuropathic pain and it’s worse if I don’t pace myself. My MS nurse told me: listen to your body.
How are you kind to yourself?
I have the best coffee and good moisturiser! I look after myself. I don’t think I did before MS.
Julie lives in Galloway with her partner Abram and her four children.
> Read Julie's poems at Hello Poetry. We love It’s challenging managing and Now