Hello again friends, bloggers and muses,
Today I’m interviewing a blogger who beams positivity, authenticity and perseverance in the face of hardship. She, like many of us, has taken solace in blogging to help deal with the difficulties of her daily struggles. I believe there is always something great that we can learn from those who have great challenges in their lives, yet persevere. There’s great strength in knowing how to keep smiling and pushing forward.
Today’s Guest: Ami of UndercoverSuperhero
Ami understands that life’s not always perfect but she continues to find reasons to be excited for life and sharing her difficulties with others so that they may be inspired and in turn, she’s managed to turn some of her challenges into positives. Let’s get into it.
Mat: Hey Ami, welcome to Behind the Author, it’s great to have you! We’ve only fairly recently come in to contact with one another, and I found your outlook on life in the face of adversity to be quite admirable, so I’m really glad to have you here. Would you like to quickly explain why you started your blog and what your blog is all about?
Ami: Thank you so much for having me and for your kind words! I began Undercover Superhero back in October 2018, as I was inspired to share my recovery story. At that point, in October, I had been in hospital and a specialist neurological rehabilitation center for 8 months. But in total, 9 months, as I was discharged from rehab at the end of November. I’d learnt a lot throughout my time in hospital and rehab, but I’d also learnt who I was, the real me, what makes me tick. It was definitely an eye opener of a year. I wanted to write about the highs and lows of my recovery, from being in ICU to being in an induced coma to give my body a chance to fight off double pneumonia. Then to taking my first steps as I learned to walk again and my partner and I setting a date for our wedding. Overall, my aim for Undercover Superhero is to raise awareness, to continue expressing myself, spreading positivity and sharing the lessons I’ve learned. I generally talk about anything that makes me happy, with a few rants here and there, including my love for superheroes, so much so that our wedding is superhero themed!
Mat: As you’ve mentioned, you’ve been challenged by a number of health difficulties which affect everything from your vision to your hearing to your ability to walk. If you don’t mind would you please briefly explain how this started and how it has affected your life? How are things going now?
Ami: It began at the end of 2016, a fortnight or so after a common cold, my hearing deteriorated. The cause is still unknown. Then, in March 2017, I lost my central vision overnight. A few days later, I was suspected to have a mini-stroke (TIA). From there, my health rapidly declined. I started having severe balance issues and was ‘walking like a drunk’ so I made the decision, for my own safety, to use a wheelchair. For the last few months of 2017, I slept nearly all day, every day. I convinced myself I wasn’t going to see 2018. I wasn’t eating and drinking properly at the beginning of 2018, I will be honest, I just wanted my life to end. I was deaf, losing my vision, could no longer walk, me and my partners relationship was at rock bottom as we kept arguing. Doctors had no clue as to what was going on with me. I lost my job.
In my eyes, my life was over, I just did not see the point anymore. At the end of February, I was an in-patient at a neurology hospital in London to hopefully find out what was wrong with me. I underwent various tests including blood tests, eye tests, nerve tests, brain MRI, spinal MRI. At the end of my stay, I was diagnosed with Ataxia. One day after coming home from the hospital, I wasn’t feeling well and it wasn’t long until I started vomiting bile. Then I remember falling asleep at lunchtime and I didn’t wake up until Tuesday. That’s when I woke up in a hospital bed. I was critically ill and still nobody knew what caused this, they just knew it was an infection. The moment my mum started saying “I love you”, it made me realize I was dying.
I wasn’t showing any improvement and that’s when the doctors decided it was best to put me in a induced coma to let my body rest. During the four days of me being in a coma, they began treating me for pneumonia. They really didn’t know if I would wake up. I woke up on Mothers Day and my 9 month long battle began. It has changed my life indefinitely, understandably, it would for anyone who went through that. My life beforehand, it was just a life. A life that wasn’t living. But since my battle began, I’ve achieved so many things that I would have never done before, I’ve focused on making myself happy, focusing on what I can do rather than what I can’t. I’ve learnt to live. Genuinely, I believe I was meant to be disabled and I accept that. My recovery is ongoing as I continue to have physiotherapy to strengthen my muscles and regain as much mobility as I can. Me and my partner are getting married on the 14th of September and my life is the best it’s ever been!
Mat: I think you’re certainly a superhero and a warrior. What’s the best advice that you could offer to someone else who feels like their life was flipped upside down on them and they’re finding it challenging to carry on? How do you stay positive?
Ami: Thanks Mathew! If your life has been flipped upside down, it’s not the end, it’s just heading in a different direction that you will learn to adapt to. Life is unpredictable, never straightforward. I know its cliche, but life is too short, you really don’t know what’s around the next corner. Sometimes things happen which will stop you in your tracks, there’s no doubt about that. But it’s how you choose to move forward that matters. Acceptance is a long emotional journey, you will learn things about yourself that you never knew before. Focus on what makes you happy, discover what makes you live.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have my low days with intense flashbacks of being in ICU and it still is a struggle to pick myself up during this, but I’ve learnt to accept that this is normal to experience in my recovery. Otherwise, blogging helps me to be positive, speaking to fellow bloggers and readers always gives my mood a boost. Spending time and laughing with my partner, cuddling and playing with my dogs and Guinea pigs helps too.
Mat: As you’ve briefly mentioned, when you’re not blogging, what’s your favorite way to unwind, relax and smile?
Ami: To be honest, I don’t relax. I have an obsession with time and I think that stems from not living my life to the fullest before. I know I put too much on myself but I like to work hard and help others, achieve as much as I hope to achieve, so I’m always looking for something to do. I call them “breathers” which are 5 to 10 minutes where I have a break and I usually am searching through Etsy, favoring the things I know I probably will never buy. I may have an obsession with time but I make sure to take regular breaks so that I don’t overwork myself and become too stressed.
Mat: I’ve also noticed that you have a series of food challenges where you throw yourself in to the deep end and try new foods on your Youtube channel! Personally, I think this is hilarious and a great idea. I think it helps us all to grow by pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones from time to time, even if its mildly unpleasant. What gave you this idea, are you still on Youtube regularly and what’s the strangest food you’ve ever tried?
Ami: Haha, yes #TryItTuesday…for as long as I can remember, I’ve been a very fussy eater, also my battle with anorexia did not help matters either. I’d been thinking about documenting my food journey for quite some time. Then one morning, I just thought “fuck it, if I don’t start now then I most likely never will” and so it began.
I’ve not done any new food challenges lately, due to being up to my eyeballs in wedding planning among other things. I’m hoping to resume at the beginning of October so feel free to suggest anything! Don’t hold back if it’s the most popular foods as there’s probably a high chance I’ve not tried it! I’ve not had any strange foods, well yet anyway, but my personal funniest was the stir-fry challenge. I thought the orange stuff was carrots but it wasn’t, it was chili!
Mat: Thanks so much for your time Ami, and for giving up your fight against super villains for a few hours to sit down to write out some of these answers with me. 😀
Also, congratulations on your upcoming wedding, and I love the superhero theme you’ve chosen for it. That’s really exciting. What do you think is the most important part of planning a wedding to ensure that it’s a fun and memorable day for everyone?
Ami: You’re very welcome! It’s been a pleasure to talk to a fellow superhero! Thank you! 😀
A wedding is a celebration, the joining of two lives merging into one. Each couple is different, so what’s better than celebrating what you love, with who you love? What brought you both together? Some are traditional, some aren’t. It would be boring if every couple were the same!
Well there you have it folks, another week of interviews in the books. Ami has the unique ability to show us all that no matter how challenging life can get, we all have the ability within us to choose happiness! We don’t have to feel like victims of life, we can flip our perspective on it’s head and see it as an opportunity to wake up and really begin living. We can all be super heroes! I’m so happy with the lessons instilled upon me in this interview, and I do hope that you’ve all felt the same. Share some love with Ami, she deserves everyone’s support.
Thanks for joining on this week’s, Behind the Author!
If you haven’t visited Ami already, you can check her out here.
Questions? Comments? Leave them down below!