What do you think of when you think of safety? You may think of a place or a person. You may think of an action or an outfit. At the moment you may have a very specific idea related to the pandemic. We will all have very different ideas of safety, and I know it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently and something that has actually been challenging me.

You may wonder how the concept of safety can be challenging. I’ll try and explain. Growing up I was a very accident prone child. Whether it was cycling off a bridge, ending up in hospital for six weeks after my second session at judo. Numerous cuts and bruises – I knew where the medical box was kept, and I knew quite well how A&E worked! Since being diagnosed with epilepsy I’ve also had some quite magnificent seizures, down the stairs at school, face first on a concrete floor, and down the stairs at home resulting in a lot plaster during the summer which is not good for someone who tans easily!

Injury has always just been a part of my life, not in a bad way, but just as a result of living. It never really bothered me. Yes there were frustrations but it seems to have changed now.

Over a year ago I had to stop running, why, because I kept losing my footing when walking so the result of that running would not be good (as I found out when I thought I’d give it a go and I fell) – essentially I didn’t feel safe. Last year we started a new system at school where a colleague would come in and check on me when they arrived in the morning to make sure all was ok. Over lockdown when the husband has been working, if I’ve gone out I’ve had a system where I’ve text a friend if I’ve been going out for a walk and texting when I’ve returned.

Safety has become forefront in my mind. I’m scared to do things on my own, I sometimes won’t leave the house because I’m worried I’ll have seizures, or even just fall whilst I’m out. I don’t want to become someone who just doesn’t do anything because they’re afraid they may get hurt, but I also know that I have to take my well being and safety seriously.

I was challenged on Friday to create a safe place in my office at work – not with cushioned walls but where I can go if I need it. But first of all I need to work out what safety is for me, how it has changed but also how I can try to ensure it doesn’t go too far the other way.

I pray that you feel safe in your life and journey

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