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Depressed you say? Surely not me!

Sylvie Bissonnette

Sylvie Bissonnette

Let me introduce myself, I am 46 years old, the mother of two youths, I work part-time in a library, I do a lot of stretching exercises, yoga, aqua gym. I do volunteer work in a reception centre, I devour books through being so conditioned to my job, and with the remaining time, I paint. In brief, I live intensely. Yesterday, I walked, today with more difficulty.

Ataxia is incurable. We all know it. It evolves, quickly, sometimes less quickly. In my case, I chose to do everything in order that it not evolve too rapidly. Well, I believe that I am succeeding well! … My secret? Try by various means to keep in shape physically and emotionally. On the physical side, I chose aqua gym. It is almost the only sport in which I didn’t risk falling and breaking things. Obviously I fall, but in the water! It is also the only place where I can run! And I even dance in the water! I do not do lengths, I get tired too fast, On the other hand, I execute many exercises which are normally done on land, but in this way, the water prevents me from hurting myself in falling. I also do “stretching” in the water, very good. Not long ago, I developed an aquatic yoga technique for myself (I draw my ideas from the Net). When I get out of there, I literally float on a cloud of beneficial effects. I feel relaxed. I almost forget that my body has limits put on it, since 16 years ago. And for the days when the swimming pool tempts me less, I pedal a stationary bicycle. 30 minutes of exercise per day is amply sufficient for me.

Now, the emotions. According to me, they are 75% of our state. I try to have good mental health. I got started painting 3 years ago. I believe that it is one of the most beautiful presents that I gave myself. And I do not even know how to draw (in any case, it would be unthinkable to want to compare me to the great masters!). Just the fact of creating, to play with colours… It is unimaginable how much one gains from it. No need to invest many $$$, I get my things, canvases and acrylics, at “Dollarama” which everyone knows? Hum? It’s crazy how much you can enhance the value with simple scrawls… Anyway, Picasso obtained some glory… and he is not even ataxic!

I believe, that if we are chosen to grow old with a handicap, we should be assured a good rocking chair.

Stated otherwise, we should grow old by perceiving the disease as a companion, who will always be there (at least until it is overcome!) then also to install it completely in order that it does not make us… sweat too much.




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