Monday, 4 July 2016

INSPIRED BY... OLIVIA COLE



In this post, I will be sharing the answers the lovely Olivia Cole gave to my 'Inspired by..' interview questions. Olivia, beautiful inside and out, is the founder of the CFS Selfies Campaign. She has done an incredible job bringing visibility to what is often perceived as an entirely 'invisible' illness. Through her campaign, Olivia asks that people living with CFS / ME share photos of themselves from better and worse days. The hundreds of photos she has received (and shared with a wider audience) highlight the fluctuating nature of the illness and how while someone may look 'well' on a given day, it could be a very different story on another.

Olivia has done a great deal in raising awareness of the realities of CFS/ME, perhaps most notably when she appeared with her Mum on ITV's Good Morning Britain.



I was excited to learn that Olivia also recently started writing a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog. I had a browse the other day and was not in the least bit surprised to see it looking amazing. I can't wait for future posts!

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What are you most proud of? 


I would say what I'm probably most proud of is my CFS SELFIES page on Instagram. For years I didn't know one person who had CFS/M.E and it can be a very isolating illness. From setting up CFS SELFIES I found a whole community of people who felt the exact same as me. I hope that all the other sufferers out there felt that they found others who instantly understood them too and that it has helped what could be a lonely fight that little less lonely.

Who/what do you look to for inspiration? 


I would say that the person that I look to for inspiration and that also inspires me a lot is my brother Alex. He has always been set on what he wants to do in life since a very young age and is now taking all the steps to reach that dream. He is always very supportive of me and has shown me that there is more to life than just being ill and that if I believe I can, then hopefully one day I'll also be taking those steps to achieving my dream.

But also my parents they inspire me a lot too, they've more a less both put their life's on hold to care and look after me and I will never be able to thank them enough for that and their constant positive support and belief in me.

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


My silver lining is having days where I'm well enough to go out either in my wheelchair or maybe walking and just be able to see the countryside or forests and just appreciate how beautiful the world is. This is something you definitely appreciate more after being stuck indoors unwell.

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


My advice to somebody who has recently fallen ill is definitely to listen to your own body, if your body is telling you to rest, then rest. Don't let anyone push you to go out when you yourself know it's going to be too much for you. You know your own body better than anyone else after all! Also find people like you, you can then compare symptoms and know that there are so many others out there who feel exactly the same as you.

Definitely never become your illness, always remember who you are and what hobbies you love doing, even if you can't pursue them now, just believe that one day you'll be able to- Always have a dream.



PLACES YOU CAN FIND OLIVIA







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