Tuesday, 8 March 2016


They say back pain affects 80pc of the population at some point in their lives. Mine, started in my late 20’s with extremely debilitating low back pain. Treatment in the first years consisted of physiotherapy and manipulation by an osteopath and chiropractor but eventually surgery was the only option. Sarah Key's Back Sufferers' Bible is an excellent book on the subject.

It was my fourth operation that soon made me realise that time is a gift after I developed an infection and was off work for nearly six months. Brides were phoning me in hospital to check everything was still going to plan for their special day. Of course I never let anyone down, but I had to find some more staff to help run the business which during that time was being run with the help of all my family.

Many a day I’d felt despair, rage and profound disappointment that I could not do certain jobs. I looked like a question mark, bent like someone 20 years older, I felt like an object of pity, an old women in black. Pain is introspective; it doesn’t give a dam about the rest of the world.

My life has changed so much over the years that I can hardly believe it. One minute I was planning on expanding my latest business and then the next I was planning on selling it.

But one thing for sure I was no 'quitter' and knew I would get around my problems one way or another. I sold the Balloon Business to my best friend's daughter who had been working for me for over a year. Selling it to someone who worked for me made it easier to let go. I could pop over and help a little if she needed it, and still felt involved when she rang for some advice and for well over 12 months I still had customers phoning me about events they wanted sorting, but slowly I let go.

Time was the key, how I used it and whom I spent it with became very important to me.

I loved writing things down and have kept many a diary. Some diary entries would sound very depressing but on the whole I knew my limits and found the tiredness the hardest to control with an overwhelming urge to sleep. The simple act of writing my thoughts down filled me with a sense of purpose, to pursue my goals. I would read inspiring stories of ladies working from home and knew it would not be long before I had an idea for myself.

I didn’t know where to settle, what to do, I felt frightened and lonely. Deciding my future, fearful of depression setting in was probably one of the hardest decisions I had had to make. It was strange to discover that I was the same person, had the same enthusiasm and woke up with equal excitement to face the day ahead even though I was in constant pain.

I took on a small writing job for my local newspaper covering community events but most days I just loved the comfort of my own chair,  I constantly scrutinized magazines for ideas and inspirations on what to do and came up with the idea of a club designed especially for ladies to develop friendship and shared interests in a safe environment. I set the club up in 2001 initially just as a hobby but the entrepreneurial side of me took over and it wasn't long before I had another good business up and running. I will cover this in my next post. 

I hope you will get one very important message from this post and that is to NEVER, EVER, GIVE UP'.

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