I need to eat regular healthy meals, get 8 hours of sleep and some kind of physical exercise. Physical health as it applies to survivors of childhood abuse, particularly when it has been brutal and/or long-term, are more subject to auto-immune issues and diseases. Getting enough sleep and rest, eating healthy foods, keeping hydrated, and getting exercise (walking is good), as well as good medical care, are all key to staying as healthy as possible. Pacing is important, or you may get sick, and when you do, even a common cold can last longer.

I have a lot of health issues that are related to my abuse. I smoke, have HepC, suffer from anxiety and was exposed to toxic chemicals at work to name a few. It’s important not to get overwhelmed or dwell on the things that are ‘wrong’. I am clean and sober – this is monumental. I am alive when many of my friends didn’t make it. I do my best to focus on being healthy day to day. Keeping it a day at a time helps.

I am not healthy and every day I struggle with chronic pain. To keep myself sane I seek out inspiration that can lift my spirits. This can be almost anything, a beautiful sunrise, a bird outside the window, a comic on tv, a friend on the phone. I have learned to appreciate small things and the beauty that is everywhere in the world. I am grateful to be alive – not always but often.

I have a disability that limits my mobility. I have had to learn to ask for help if I want to get out of my apartment. I thought that needing help means you are weak. Instead I have learned that it takes strength to let people know that you need help and it allows other people to give something. They need this too. We need each other.

Having a disability makes me more vulnerable to abuse. This was hard for me to accept. It was also hard for me to accept that I have this disability. I have spent time learning about vulnerability and how to take more precautions to guard my safety. I have also learned how to be clear with people where my boundaries lie. I think this is good learning for me, it makes me feel less like a victim.