The age of the superwoman has lead many of us to believe that not only can we do it all, but we ought to as well. Here, Claire Lomas explains why having and accepting support has made her stronger following an accident that left her paralysed from the chest down.
Who has been your greatest support?
My parents and husband.
Why is it important to have a good support system?
It has got me through the darkest days. Also I love being in the company of others … so all my friends and family have been a huge support.
When have you needed someone the most?
In the early days after my accident – my Mum was amazing and it kept me going.
Have you ever found support in unexpected places?
I never expected the support I received from walking the London Marathon. It was surreal. Strangers came and walked with me, some have become great friends.
Is it ok to ask for help?
Absolutely. I am never afraid of asking for help if I need it. Likewise, I love to help others if I can.
How do you think individuals can show their support for other people when they are having a tough time?
I know some of my best friends offered support by just being there. I know on some of the lowest days there would only be two or three special friends I felt I could see, and every time we still managed to laugh. It is just being there at tough times.
What’s the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?
That is a hard one! I couldn’t name one thing. My family and friends have been fantastic helping me get rehab equipment as well as helping me stay positive. Thousands of people were lovely to me throughout the Marathon … runners donating their medals, Matthew Pinsent presenting them, and many people joining me. One thing I have discovered since becoming paralysed is how kind people are. I appreciate all the support.
What do you do to #bekindtoyou?
Anything from time with my daughter, Maisie, to spa treatments! My life is so full – Maisie is two years old, I do inspirational speaking, talks at schools to fundraise for the Nicholls Foundation, and hand-cycling and rehab to keep me fit, so a treat for me is a day or two at a spa. The great thing is you do not have to even travel far to get a complete rest and time to yourself. I also love to take Maisie to play with my friends’ children; watching them play and laugh is priceless.
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