The Strength Project #6 ~ Verity Emelia Barnett...

By Lucy Harbron - 20:43

"Fall 7 times, stand up 8"

I'm constantly blown away by the strength I see daily on social media as people overcome obstacles, celebrate little victories and post tiny snapshots of positivity when times are tough. I've followed Verity for a while now and her positivity in the face of her battle with severe CFS/M.E causing her to be mainly housebound, as well as sadly losing her Mum last year. Her unfaltering positivity online and how she constantly challenges herself and makes the best of her situation made me certain that I had to involve her in the project. Here's what strength means to Verity...

What does strength mean to you?

That's actually quite tough because strength can mean so many different things, the obvious one being physical strength..but to me strength means overcoming things you thought you never could, when everything seems against you, you continue to fight through and never give up! Also it can be as simple as getting up in the morning and facing the day ahead!

Could you tell me about a time when strength was evident in your life?

I think when I first became ill with m.e, strength was quite significant to me as it was quite a scary and daunting time, but I'd definitely say when my mum passed away from cancer last year. From the day she was diagnosed, everything in our lives changed! It was one of these situations when being strong is the only option you've got. When she died I thought I'd never get through it and I just wanted to give up, but here I am & I'm kinda pretty proud of that!

Do you think there's a link between mental strength and physical strength?

To some degree yes. When I'm most positive and strong, it definitely  makes me push myself more physically and it makes me far more determined! I think being mentally strong can definitely help you physically, not all of the time, but most.

Through your battle with cfs/me, do you think surrounding yourself with positive people is key to staying strong?

Most definitely! I'm lucky to have a pretty supportive family who keep positive, but people's attitudes around me has a definite affect on me. Whether it's positive or negative! I think if my family weren't as positive, then neither would I be. I also have a good community of online friends who some of them I consider my closest friends. They are always there for me and they have a good, positive attitude towards life! They really do help to keep me strong and happy!

Would you say your past has redefined how you view strength?

Yes! I think before I had cfs/me I didn't really go through anything that I had to be particularly strong for, I didn't really give it much thought. But when I started becoming ill at the age of 13, strength had a whole new meaning!! I had to overcome things I never thought I'd have to, I learnt to continue fighting and to not give up! Same thing with my mums whole cancer journey! My past has taught me that inner strength is just as important if not more important than physical strength

When do you feel strongest?

Due to having severe cfs/me I'm unable to do a lot of things most people would consider "normal" for instance..I can only walk for a minute or so, I can't do the little things most people wouldn't think twice about! It may sound silly but on "good days" when I have been able to leave the house or I have been able to brush my hair, that's when I feel the strongest! It's tiny achievements like that, that make me feel strong

Can you sum up what strength means to you in 3 words?

Ah man that's hard umm... Courage, gratitude, integrity

Verity recently uploaded a video all about M.E/CFS to help raise awareness about the illness so please take a few minutes to watch it!

Find Verity-

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