Learning how to walk again during the pandemic forced me to live in the moment | Hollie-Anne Brooks

To recover from my functional neurological disorder, I had to learn to ‘reset’ my mind

Restrictions have come to define many people’s lives this year – understandably frustration has been vented over cancelled plans or the inability to travel. But for me, this was business as usual. For the past two and a half years, I had been unable to walk due to a condition called functional neurological disorder, which blocks messages from the brain to certain body parts. My left leg wasn’t listening, leaving me stuck and immobile.

That was, until it all changed. From September this year I was to be enrolled in a five-week treatment programme that could help me regain my mobility. Treatment would mean travelling into London every week by train during the pandemic, staying in a hotel two nights a week and interacting closely with others, taking me away from my small, low-risk Essex village. I hesitated, but my boyfriend encouraged me before I could let the doubt take hold. That was the first lesson: trusting my gut wholeheartedly.

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