When I became dramatically and rapidly ill, starting in September 2017, I felt my life was over. And in many ways it really was. I went from having my own TV show on the now gone Bike Channel and excitedly moving to Spain to live with my BMX riding fiance, with dreams of riding and building a new life together. Instead, by December, I was in a wheelchair, unable to walk, shower or dress myself with a mystery illness, generically named as “Fibromyalgia”, whilst my fiance cooked my meals and took me to the corner of the street in the wheelchair to get me some air.
I was unable to ride or work or think. The doctors told me to take a mountain of Co-codamol a day and that there was nothing I could do. I called the official Fibromyagia charity for some support, but they basically told me “yeah, this illness is crap, poor you, it sucks”...leaving me feeling virtually suicidal. I didn't see the point of waking up in the morning, just to try to survive a really boring day full of pain, over and over again for the rest of my life.
I cut myself off from social media and was asked to send my bikes back to my sponsors. It's fair to say I was totally lost. I had lost everything, apart from the love of my family and friends. It still makes me feel emotional to think about how much they still liked me, despite the fact I was a useless, boring, crying person confined to a sofa a million miles from the wild, scatty, energetic person that I thought they loved me for. Turns out, unconditional love is just that, people can love you even when you feel you have nothing to give. That was a nice lesson. All the other lessons, however, were rubbish.