Thursday, 25 February 2016


In this post, I will be sharing the answers the lovely Jenny Helen gave to my 'Inspired by..' interview questions.

I've got to know Jenny over the past couple of years through social media and her blog Jenny Helen, My Spoonie Life. In this time, Jenny's health has unfortunately deteriorated a great deal and she has had to put her University studies on hold.

Not one to be be defeated by illness though, Jenny remains one of the most positive people I know. I am constantly impressed by the way in which she selflessly uses her limited energy reserves to campaign for M.E. Awareness and writes insightful posts about her experiences. While I am no longer so significantly affected, Jenny's last post 'Hiding away, dealing with pain' really struck a chord with me. I felt she summed up my past experiences perfectly. I think that talking so openly and honestly about the realities of illness is incredibly important and I have no doubt that other's find great comfort in reading Jenny's posts.

Jenny is endlessly kind to and supportive of others - traits which I admire in her immensely.


What are you most proud of?

I have achieved almost nothing since my recent relapse, I had to leave uni, I have lost friends, I have had to give up hobbies. I am proud that those things do not define me, I enjoyed them, but I am still me. I am proud of the way that I have adapted, and he fact that 'failure' doesn't hold me back.

Who/ what do you look to for inspiration?

The online community, honestly there are so many people online who have changed my life in so many ways. I am inspired by others who are living their 'best life' despite chronic illness, it inspires me to do the same. Faye is a great example of this! I am also inspired by campaigners and researchers who fight for better treatment and understanding of chronic illnesses, there are so many people who write off chronic illness as a 'life choice' or laziness. Nothing will change unless people ask for it!

When chronic illness feels like a bit of a cloud, what's your silver lining?

My illness makes me make the most of things. Without realising it every day I am reminded of my limitations, this makes me really go for the things which I am able to do. It also makes me want to do all those things that i have always said "one day I will do" because I know that life is short and we only have now and all that has passed. For example I might have said one day I will write my friend a letter telling them how much they mean to me, or one day I will buy myself a record player. When we were younger my brother, sister and I always said that we would like to go on holiday together, this year we are going to actually do it.

What would your advice be to someone who has recently fallen ill?

Oh so many things... at the end if the day you have to do it your way. There is no right way to be ill. No one can tell you how to do it, in time you will work out what is best for you. Find people who will support you, it may take months to work out who is going to be there for you but it is worth the wait! Communicate honestly with yourself and others around you, don't say things that you feel you should say. If it means saying "I don't know" to every question, that's okay because you don't. Lastly I would say prioritise acceptance, don't wait for your illness to go away, spend time getting to know it and you will be surprised how much peace and joy can be found from letting go of denial.

Places to you can find Jenny



  1. Thank you both for the inspiration and for your positive attitude despite pretty much everything. And hope that your health will become less severely affected than ow, Jenny.

  2. I very much hope the same for Jenny, Polina. She is amazing xxx


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