Why CAN Affirmation
Can Affirmation Cards were created in response to my own health journey. After giving birth I experienced an extreme presentation of Postpartum Thyroiditis and continuing health problems for several years after this. I found it nearly impossible to access the support that I required and my symptoms were constantly dismissed as mental health problems – it was ‘all in my head.’ When I met those who believed that my symptoms were present the intensity and impact of them was never fully acknowledged, I was suffering from a severe case of ‘women’s things.’
How CAN Affirmation helped me
Before I gave birth to my little girl I practiced hypnobirthing and a part of this was positive affirmation. When I became unwell I found myself quite naturally drawing upon this resource. On some days I stood in front of the mirror and said the affirmations out loud, I built my confidence, my voice and genuinely believe that these affirmations helped me to get the support that I needed.
The nature of thyroid conditions is that symptoms can present as mental health challenges. Some days I knew my thoughts weren’t my reality and I needed to dig deep and connect with myself – this is how affirmation helped me. I hope they can help others feel less alone, that they speak to people in difficult times and offer a level of comfort.
My journey has been extremely difficult and I have unfortunately found that I am not alone – lots of people and especially women have their symptoms dismissed. I am ever so grateful for the support I have around me but what about those who aren’t fortunate enough to have this resource?
I want to use my experiences to help others, I know what it meant to me to find another ‘me!’ I hope my own journey can have some kind of positive outcome. Sharing my story, volunteering at Edgehill University as a service user and these affirmation cards are just some of the ways that I try to do this.
CAN affirmation cards are about working with professionals to get the right medical advice. They are about building confidence in the patient to ask questions and to continue even when doors feel closed. They are about creating a narrative that the patient’s voice matters. The patient is, after all, the only person who holds the first piece of the jigsaw; knowledge about their own body and experiences.