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Achievements and Hobbies with Hypermobility by Sophie Harvey 

Posted By HMSA Social Media Coordinator, June 30, 2018

Around this time last year, I was officially diagnosed with Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder, but I also set up my Etsy shop. My shop has been a fantastic pain management technique, taking my mind off the joint pain caused by Hypermobility. I named my Etsy shop ‘Wend And Amble’, as a reminder to myself. To ‘wend’ means to go in a particular direction by an indirect path, and to ‘amble’ is to walk at a slow, relaxed pace. It reminds me that even though Hypermobility has made me slow down, I will achieve my goals, just in my own way and at my own pace. I have learnt a lot over this past year from working on ‘Wend And Amble’ with Hypermobility.

One of the lessons I have learnt is that there is no ‘normal’. If I feel I am doing things differently to everyone else, that is true. Everyone lives their life differently to everyone else. So, I’ve tried not to think about what is the ‘normal’ way of doing things, rather what is ‘normal for me’. If that means I achieve things slowly, or in an adapted way, so be it.

Trying to aim for progress instead of perfection has been important to me. I strive to enjoy the process of doing something and celebrate the progress I have made. I tend to forget how far I’ve come, so it’s great to celebrate the little achievements along the way, just as much as the big ones.

I also try to focus on what I can do, instead of what I can’t. When I find myself comparing myself to others, I try to focus on my current progress towards what I want to achieve. I know that I will get there, just one step at a time.

Now I have come to understand that taking breaks and resting is an achievement too. I’m making sure I have enough energy to do what I want to do. It’s like the oxygen masks in airplanes – they tell you to put your own mask on before helping others.

I also know that setbacks are part of the process and that’s ok. I try to see them as a way of re-evaluating what is working and what isn’t. It’s an opportunity to know what I can do better next time. It’s still progress.

In addition, I try draw on the experience and expertise of family, friends, the Hypermobility Syndromes Association and professionals when I am trying to work out how to achieve things. I am continually in awe of the amazing ideas they come up with to help me achieve the goals I would like to accomplish. I listen to their ideas and then try to trust my instincts about which ideas feel right for me to move forward with.

Lastly, one of the most important things I have come to understand is that, as long as I am doing something I value, then I am achieving something. If it is contributing to the kind of person I strive be and I am doing my best, that is all I can do. There is hope, and just because I have Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder doesn’t mean that I can’t achieve things, it just means that I achieve things at a pace and on a path that is normal for me. I am wending and ambling and that is completely and utterly ok.

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