Well summer is here and don’t we know it! It’s a little grey today but we’ve been having one hot summer in the UK.
It’s the last day of July (I know, I’m shocked too), which means it’s Twenty Questions time. This months interviewee is Sarah of SarahJennaJayne. Sarah refers to herself as ‘A mentalist with a twist’. With an aim of educating people and supporting others, she discusses her chronic illnesses on the blog as well as mental health.
In answer to question 7 Sarah, fools, that’s who!
I’m coming with you to number 12. How big is your suitcase?!
I hope you enjoy this Twenty Questions as much as I did when I received the answers. I have to agree with Sarah, disability and illness must have a huge influence on the person we grow into.
1. What made you decide to write a blog?
When I first fell ill one of the hardest things I had to overcome was the fact that people doubted me. My health went rapidly downhill in such a short time frame it made others find my situation hard to believe.
It meant a lot of the people around me struggled to understand my health issues, I realised it must be like that for most of the people in my position.
I not only want to educate people about having chronic conditions, I also want to do my best to ensure no one else ends up as alone and frightened as I was.
Sometimes just the knowledge that you aren’t the first to experience a tough situation can do a world of good.
2. What do you want your blog to achieve?
Creating awareness is a huge factor for me. In an ideal world there wouldn’t be any doubt when it comes to chronic conditions/invisible illnesses. I want to help create that world.
I think one of the most important goals I have is helping people. I focus on a few different topics on my blog. The two topic’s I concentrate on the most is mental health and obviously chronic illness. If one person reads my blog and feels better about any issues they are having then that to me is success.
I want my readers to know that they can reach out to me. I never want anyone to worry about contacting me directly, whether that’s privately or commenting publicly on one of my platforms.
3. What is the mot difficult thing for you about having a disability?
If you had asked me that question a few years ago I would of said pain. I am in physical pain of some form every single day. Oddly enough I have now gotten used to it.
What I find most difficult is the limitations side of it. I hate the fact I have to pace myself and often cannot do certain things. What a lot of people don’t understand is that my mind is perfectly normal. It’s exactly the same as it was before I fell ill but my body? Well that’s a different story.
The only way I can describe it is, it’s like being chained to a wall you want to get out and be free but you physically can’t. Sometimes it can feel like I have to watch my life pass me by.
4. What is the biggest positive about having a disability?
My personal growth. I become unwell at what was supposed to be the best time of my life, around the age of 18/19. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that I would of been a completely different person had I not of experienced what I have.
I was reckless and ungrateful, I never appreciated the gift of simply being alive.
I have more empathy in my little finger than I had before I got sick. I appreciate the good times and I understand the bad. I know life isn’t always good but I also know I have the strength to overcome whatever is thrown at me.
I genuinely want to help others and I’m not afraid to admit that certainly wasn’t the type of person I was all those years ago.
5. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
That’s an easy one! Chocolate!
6. An apocalypse is imminent, you have 30 minutes to prepare, what 3 items do you pack?
Make up (I know I know!)
Lamby (My comforter, I’ve had him for almost 30 years!)
My dressing gown.
7. When making tea would you pour the milk or water in first?
Water! Who pours the milk first??
8. What is your favourite way to relax?
I don’t actually know? I have a lot of pets! Any downtime I get I am either sorting them, cleaning cages etc or just spending time with them. I think its important when you have a lot of animals to give them individual attention.
9. If you could interview any human, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
This is a pretty personal question for me. My auntie was a murder victim, she died in the most awful way, she was sexually assaulted beaten and strangled to death. Her killer has never been caught. I would interview her and ask who took her life in such a vile devastating way.
10. What would be your dream job?
Easy, I’d work with rescue animals. Most of my animals past present and future have become part of my family because they have needed rescuing in some way. When I was younger I ended up with 8 rabbits! Rescuing animal’s is my dream job. To be paid to help animals? For me personally, I can’t think of anything better.
11. You’ve just won 10 million pounds (congratulations!) what 3 things would you do with the money?
Firstly I’d do what I was talking about above, I’d open my very own animal rescue.
I’d help those I love who are struggling with money.
Thirdly, I would give a very large donation to the hospice in the weald. They recently looked after my Grandad in his final days on this earth. They do an amazing job. Those who work there and the volunteers are all such beautiful people.
12. Where in the world would you most like to visit and why?
Africa, I would absolutely love to see all of those incredible animals in their natural habitat! What a beautiful sight that must be.
13. What one thing would you change about yourself?
Physically? If so, the fact I can’t tan.
14. If you could play any part in a film, past or future, real or fiction, Who would you be?
I’d love to play Gillian Owens in practical magic! I couldn’t possibly say how many times I’ve watched that film! As a child the scene where the ex boyfriend’s eyes open after he was resurrected always scared me! I remember the first time I watched it alone, just as his eyes opened we had a power cut! It terrified me!
15. If there was a pill that would freeze you at your current age and you could live forever as you are now, would you take it and why?
No. Life is all part of the grand design, we aren’t supposed to live forever. Watching those I love grow old and die and not taking that journey with them just isn’t something I’d want to experience.
16. If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
I genuinely cannot answer that question there is absolutely no one I would want to trade lives with even If it was just for a day.
17. If you could time travel where would you go?
I’d go back to when women were fighting for their rights. When they took back control and demanded to no longer be seen as second class citizens. What an experience that must of been albeit a fightening one.
The courage and sheer determination in those women is incredible. Even if I only had the chance to thank them for everything they accomplished. For giving us the lives we have today! The opportunities we are blessed with all because they fought so hard for the women of the future.
18. If you were made queen and allowed to pass one new law, what would it be and why?
Gosh there are a lot of things I think need fixing picking one seems impossible. I would definitely find a way to protect people from sex offenders better. It’s a crime that isn’t taken anywhere near as seriously in this country as it should be.
19. What possible trait has gotten you in the most trouble?
My lack of filter. If I see wrongdoing I can’t just bite my tongue, I stand up for what I believe in and I fight for what’s right. It may be a trait that has caused me trouble but personally, I wouldn’t change that about myself. Id rather stand alone and do the right thing than follow the crowd through fear.
20. As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
You’re definitely going to see a theme in my answers, I wanted to be a vet. It wasn’t until my first dog needed to be put to sleep that I realised emotionally, that wasn’t the job for me. That was reinforced as I got older. I learnt the sad truth that many vets have to put pets down for reasons that aren’t in the best interests of the animals physical health.
Thank you Sarah for such an honest and thoughtful interview. I think some of us have too many filters, and standing up for what you believe can only be a good thing.
If you want to read more from Sarah then head over to her blog SarahJennaJayne.
Don’t forget to check out all my other Twenty Questions interviews.
I’m always looking for new guests, so don’t be shy and do get in touch if you’d like to take part!
You can also find Wheelescapades on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.