The Unseen Disability

Each day I wake up in a different state of pain. I pull myself upright, assess how bad my waking pain is, take whatever meds I need to take, to take the edge off, then breakfast, shower, dress – with my wifes’ help occassionally, before I set out for the day.

The pain you get used too, the feeling of inadequacy for being less than you should be, digs deeper.

Since I became disabled on the 12th January 1996, at times, I have struggled with good mental health. Contrary to what I was brought up to believe, I find it good to talk about it. In fact, sometimes I want to talk about it. The whole process frees my mind and makes me feel better with myself.

I recently did a talk at the South West Bike Show. Just after I arrived I was approached by a fellow biker, a couple of years older than myself who said this to me.

“You know Ian, I am ex forces. I have served in Iraq and Northern Ireland. I have seen death and things which will make your toes curl. I suffer depression and PTSD, but I read a few pages from your book and I am back in my happy place”

Earlier this year I had an email from a guy who had bought my book. It read something like this :-

“Hello Ian, I had your book for Christmas. I finished reading it a few days ago, and I enjoyed it so much, I gave it to my mother to read. She finished reading it last night and this morning she went shopping. This doesn’t sound much, but my mother is agoraphobic. She hasn’t left the house for three years. Your book inspired her to go out.”

Like, Wow!

These stories just humble me. These two people who have found something special in my book to help them.

My book is an Amazon Best Seller in the US in the ‘Books on Motorcycles’ section. I am extremely proud of this. But I am much more proud of the fact that it is proving a source of self help to some people who need it.

I feel a fraud here. After all, sometimes I can barely hold it together myself. Pain is such a heavy weight to carry.

But I am doing my best. That is all that I can do.

Ian ‘Ianto’ Gravell is a disabled businessman, author and adventurer.

When he is not working, or writing he is riding his motorcycle to exciting places around the world.

Keep tabs on his adventures by reading his blog, newsletter and book – Loose Gravel – Broken Bones, Broken Dreams made good on a Broken Road

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