The Living in the Grey YOU ARE MORE online international support group is a place where all those with invisible disabilities, acute or chronic, can come share their experience, strength and hope and feel connected to others who understand them.
The group is a safe place to be visible, to connect and not feel alone.
It is run by those with invisible disabilities for those with invisible disabilities.
Please feel free to share the group, join in and get in touch.
Thank you so much for joining our monthly support group.
PLEASE NOTE: This will be a closed meeting and is not open to carers or friends/partners so that we can share our experience honestly and openly.
There is no requirement to come to each meeting (though it is lovely for creating a deeper connection and knowing one another more).
Please read the information below, particularly the User Agreement = this is to ensure the meeting remains a healthy and safe space for those attending.
Please RSVP by 6pm on the day of each meeting if you will be attending the meeting so that you can be sent the log-on details.
You should receive a link to Googlemeets for the meeting when you RSVP.
About the meeting:
The meeting began in a small church room in Marylebone London in 2016, set up by myself. It then went to Skype and then opened up on Facebook to people around the world.
The purpose of the meeting is for those who have invisible disabilities to have a place to meet, share their experience, strength and hope. To be understood and most importantly, to not feel alone.
Those who want to share what's on their mind can, if you wish to not speak that is fine too as sometimes just feeling the support of a group can be enough. We just ask that you do introduce yourself and keep your camera on for the duration of the meeting.
Each month we have a focus for the meeting - sometimes we have a guest share, other times we share our own creations or favourite pieces of art/music/poetry and so on and some meetings include gentle and enjoyable connecting and exploring deeper exercises. Sometimes we even have a little disco dance to close the meeting ;-)
I really look forward to welcoming you at the next meeting.
Please feel free to message me with any questions in the meantime.
The meeting is not group therapy nor meant to replace any other forms of treatment but to provide peer support and understanding and the feeling of belonging.
The meeting is led by myself to ensure there is some structure and to be sure it goes ahead each month.
If you are able to attend the meeting on a regular basis then please do feel free to volunteer to lead the next meeting. I find it is democratic in that no one person is a leader or decision maker. I usually manage the group and virtual host log in details to ensure the meeting goes ahead.
COST - £5. Please book your place at the date you want to join. Please choose the personal/donation option in PayPal and NOT the service payment option as PayPal charge me a huge fee per service option payment made and makes it huge difference to the costs for me. Thanks
Every little bit extra helps me to continue offering free places to those who wouldn't ordinarily be able to access them and any pennies left over will pay for paid for marketing to reach more people like us!
I’m really sorry to have a User Agreement. Sadly one or two people have misused the group in the past and we cannot risk the wellbeing of the group or its members in any way.
• Please familiarise yourself with GOOGLEMEETS before the meeting. It is free. Please have this set up and tested to ensure your account, camera and mic work beforehand.
• YOUR MEMBERSHIP AND ACCEPTANCE TO A MEETING COUNTS AS A SIGNED AGREEMENT THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THE TERMS OF ATTENDING THE ONLINE GROUP TO ENSURE YOU ARE WHO YOU SAY YOU ARE AND NOT SPAM OR A TROLL
• THOSE WISHING TO JOIN THE MEETING MUST HAVE A FACEBOOK / MEETUP PROFILE SHOWING EVIDENCE OF YOU BEING A REAL PERSON AND NOT A TROLL, BEFORE BEING ACCEPTED TO ATTEND THE MEETING.
• YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR FULL NAME AND NATURE OF HIDDEN DISABILITY IN A DIRECT MESSAGE 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE OF THE MEETING. YOUR NAME MUST APPEAR IN SKYPE AS THE NAME IN THE RSVP & EMAIL YOU SENT
• LITG WILL NOT TOLERATE ABUSIVE OR OFFENSIVE BEHAVIOUR IN ANY MEETING, NOR ANY UNSOLICITED BUSINESS OR MARKETING. THE GROUP IS NOT A PLACE FOR NETWORKING TO SELL YOUR SERVICE OR PRODUCTS. THE GROUP IS ONLY (HEAVILY UNDERLINED!) FOR THOSE WITH INVISIBLE DISABILITIES.
• THE MEETING IS A SUPPORT GROUP. NOT THERAPY OR ADVICE. YOU AGREE TO NOT CROSS TALK OR OFFER OPINIONS ON OTHERS SHARING DURING THE MEETING.
• YOU AGREE TO ALL CONTENTS OF THE MEETING REMAINING CONFIDENTIAL AND NOT SHARING ANYTHING OUTSIDE OF THE GROUP WHO HAS ATTENDED AND WHAT HAS BEEN SAID AT THE MEETING.
• YOU AGREE TO ENSURE YOU ARE IN A QUIET AND PRIVATE LOCATION WHEN ATTENDING THE ONLINE MEETING.
• USERS FAILING TO MEET ANY OF THESE CONDITIONS WILL BE TERMINATED FROM THE MEETING AND GROUP IMMEDIATELY, BANNED, NAMED ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND WHERE APPROPRIATE, REPORTED TO FACEBOOK AND MEET UP.
I suffered an ABI in September 2015 following meningitis and encephalitis and have been on the bumpy road of recovery since then. In 2017 I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that continues to ravage my organs in my body, recurring encephalitis and CFS. To round it up nicely, I had confirmed Covid-19 and am living with Long-Covid-19 symptoms.
The loneliness of having a chronic illness, living with life changing symptoms, learning to adjust life to your needs and living with the aftermath are (including judgement by others) in my opinion, the biggest symptoms to manage.
Even those with family and partners to support them can find the illness isolating because so much of the illness and its symptoms are happening on the inside.
Knowing you are not going through this alone is a big comfort and healer. This is why I set up a support group. So that we can feel connected and understood.
I speak to the public, communities, employers and service providers about invisible disabilities, impact it has on midlife, resilience and coping tools. I consult for companies on including/considering invisible disabilities in their HR policies, product and service design, technology /app usage, PR and staff training.
I work directly with those with invisible disabilities as a therapist and meditation practitioner and also run a national campaign, featuring on the radio and in press.