Chantelle's story

Today, I would like to share my journey with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) and how the Brain and Spine Foundation’s online Neuro Social Peer Support Group has played a pivotal role in my life. This group has helped me not only in my physical and speech rehabilitation but also in nurturing my emotional well-being. It has been a source of strength, a place where I have found friends who understand the complexities of living with a severe and lifelong neurological disorder.

My journey with FND has been challenging, to say the least. It’s a condition that has left me paralysed and housebound, rendering me unable to continue my career in business management. I had built my career through hard work, only to find that my industry was ill-equipped to accommodate my condition. Moreover, the NHS system, which many of us rely on, was under immense strain, with long waiting times and limited access to services for those in need. It was a daunting and frustrating time in my life.

But it was during these difficult days that I discovered the Brain and Spine Foundation and their online Neuro Social Peer Support Group. This incredible community has been my lifeline. It’s a place where I’ve laughed, cried, grieved, and shared in joy with people who have become lifelong friends. They have been my pillars of strength, my companions on this challenging journey.

Physically, the group has played a significant role in my speech and language rehabilitation. Creative writing and art therapy sessions have been an integral part of my recovery. These activities not only stimulate the mind but also help in regaining control over my faculties. It’s a testament to the power of creativity and the human spirit, working hand in hand to overcome the odds.

Emotionally, the support group has been my sanctuary. It’s a safe place where I can connect with others who understand the intricacies of living with a severe neurological disorder. When I’m feeling down or overwhelmed, I can turn to this group for understanding and empathy. They’ve been there to celebrate my triumphs and provide solace during my darkest hours.

But this journey is not just about receiving support. It’s also about giving back and finding purpose. Thanks to the Brain and Spine Foundation, I was given the opportunity to become a South East Lead Peer Support Worker. This role has allowed me to connect with others who are going through what I’ve experienced. It’s a way for me to give back, to be a source of inspiration, and to share the hope that life can still be fulfilling even with a severe and lifelong condition.

The Brain and Spine Foundation has been instrumental in my journey. From the neurological nursing helpline to the creative sessions and the peer support group, their team has provided a holistic approach to healing. They’ve helped me find purpose and value in a life that I never expected. They’ve shown me that I can be the best version of myself, perfectly imperfect, just as I am.

In conclusion, my journey with Functional Neurological Disorder has been filled with challenges, but the Brain and Spine Foundation’s online Neuro Social Peer Support Group has been my beacon of hope. It has helped me physically, emotionally, and has given me a sense of purpose. I am forever grateful to this incredible community that has supported me and helped me become the best version of myself. Thank you.