“In October 2012 I was on a plane heading back to the UK, and started feeling peculiar. I was sweating and was mentally confused about where I was,” writes Natasha Sutton
“After completing a photography shoot in Canada, I was exhausted but happy with my accomplishment. On an average I was pulling 70 hours a week. Stress was something I grew to know about, but inexperienced with how to manage it.
“By the fourth of October 2012 I was not only paralysed from the neck down, I was given the diagnosis that this was a rare condition caused by stress where the adrenaline and cortisol levels were too high making the body react in nerve damage and non-epileptic seizures.
“I lost speech, eye sight and motor functions intermittently. It has been a fight not only to do what I love again, but to love what I do. Eventually being able to sit comfortably in a wheelchair, I was lead to that inner strength that you adapt to as a self-employed person; and asked myself WHAT DO I DO NOW?
“People can be cruel as they don't understand how to react and support - this wasn’t a clear mental breakdown nor a burnout.
“With World Mental Health Day coming up this October, it is important to treat a person that is going through something internally to have that secure space and safety to feel like they can just ‘be’. They are still the person you see everyday, so no need to have those awkward feelings. Just being there and supporting them can be enough sometimes.”
So am I still paralysed by success today?
“Being self-employed, I sometimes think I am going in a loop, but it is recognising how you are striving for positive actions, having clear bullet points for your direction and implementation of action plans that makes things work. Taking slow and positive steps for a happier and maintained lifestyle is the new way since 2012 that I’ve adopted, along with looking for supporters, having fun and learning all over again. My view point now is quite a refreshing one. How ‘success’ as I previously perceived it had paralysed me I made a life choice to recognise that balance and belief in making a vision come into a focused action plan can result in real success.
“So let's all join the Think Self Employed campaign by using the hashtag on social media and sharing your highs and lows of being a business owner. Hopefully, Government will give us all more support.”
Find out more about Natasha via #paralysedbysuccess.
Click Here for more information about the campaign.