Lovely to check in with you all again.
Today I had the fantastic privilege of being able to watch Katie Piper’s new show ‘What’s in My Head’. Katie is touring the country with this show and we managed to catch the show in Kettering.
So I’m not sure how many of you are aware of Katie Piper’s story, but in 2008 at the age of 24 years, she was attacked with acid and suffered pretty horrendous injuries.
Katie was a model and TV presenter and her face was damaged so much by the acid that most of her face was removed. She lost her sight and as a result of ingesting some of the acid she suffered internal injuries in the throat, oesophagus and stomach and had to undergo numerous procedures to rebuild her face and to open her throat and nostrils up, as it would close up due to the scar tissues from the burns contracting.
It is really scary to think that life and what we expect from our life path can change in an instant like this. This is something that I can relate to in my own life with my teeth and jaw issues and is something that I will be drawing upon in my upcoming presentation on chronic pain.
Here are some photo’s of Katie, before and after the acid attack:
This is what Katie Piper looks like more recently:
I have always followed Katie’s story of recovery since seeing her documentary on channel 4 called ‘My Beautiful Face’.
I have always been inspired by how Katie has used such negative and devastating personal experiences and been able to use this to help others in such a positive way through her charity The Katie Piper Foundation: https://katiepiperfoundation.org.uk/ and some of the TV shows and documentaries that she has done for channel 4.
Here she is explaining her story on a Ted Ex talk:
In the show Katie shares really openly and honestly her struggles with losing her identity, as it was during that time, as a young lady in her twenties, who never even considered disability, or illness in herself, or other family members, and who considered herself to be ‘invincible’.
Katie talked of struggles of losing her looks and the struggles of not being able to eat due to her internal injuries and losing tremendous amounts of weight because of this. She also talks of struggles with anxiety and of not being able to make connections with others and struggles with agoraphobia following the attack. She also talks of using alcohol as a means of self-medicating and numbing the pain. Also losing most of her twenties to Hospital treatments for her various injuries.
All things that I think most of us would be able to relate to in one form, or another…
Katie also shared some lovely strategies that she has used in her own recovery. One that I really liked was the use of positive affirmations, which according to Wikipedia are:
“Affirmations in New Thought and New Age terminology refer primarily to the practice of positive thinking and self-empowerment—fostering a belief that “a positive mental attitude supported by affirmations will achieve success in anything. More specifically, an affirmation is a carefully formatted statement that should be repeated to one’s self and written down frequently. For affirmations to be effective, it is said that they need to be present tense, positive, personal and specific.”
What she does is collect positive affirmations and print them off, write them down and post them all over her downstairs bathroom. In the interval she had a mock up toilet in the foyer and asked the audience to write down their favorite affirmation and post them on the wall. Here are some pictures:
I like positive affirmations myself and tend to collect them on one of my Pinterest boards.
There are hundreds of affirmations that you could use, some examples I’ve found this evening are:
Do you have a favorite positive affirmation/s that you have used and found to be helpful?
The key to making positive affirmations more likely to work seems to be making sure they are in the present tense, they contain positive words, they are relevant to what you are trying to achieve and you repeat them several times over the course of the day.
There’s no formula for how often or how many times you should repeat a positive affirmation.
Many people set a routine that works for them, like repeating the affirmation 20 times, 3 times a day.
The brain is able to rewire itself via a process called neuroplasticity. So similarly to a daily meditation practice, if you are focused when repeating your chosen affirmation, and you repeat it frequently, it is more likely to be successful. Imagine that your brain is like any other muscle that we would train in the gym. The more we train the stronger the muscle gets…
There were many other strategies that Katie shared for recovery. Such as:
- Spending time with family
- Spending time with friends
- More chocolate! 😉
I highly recommend catching the show if you get the opportunity, to learn more about Katie and see if some of these strategies would be helpful to you in your life.
If you can’t catch a show, Katie has written several books. One of the books that was at the show was this one:
This is available on Amazon at the moment for £4: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Confidence-Secret-Katie-Piper/dp/1784295205/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524180529&sr=8-1&keywords=katie+piper+confidence
I’ll leave you with one of the slides that she shared on Anxiety Girl. I think this can be one of my super powers too…
Please get in touch and share some of your own strategies for recovery, would be great to hear from you.