Manar Ben Tahayekt is a fellow Gibaltarian and blogger over at Wobbly Blogger where she talks about living with Cerebral Palsy, anxiety and her adventures. I also follow her facebook page which I recommend for uplifting posts, tons of messages of support and the occasional funny TikTok!
I think she is such an inspiration and am hoping you all think so too! So without further nonsense from me, lets start the interview!
Can you tell me a little about yourself and the aims of your blog?
Well, my name is Manar Ben Tahayekt, I am 26 years old and I work as an admin trainee in the Education Department. But, I would like to fulfill my career in writing, this is why I am hoping to do creative writing in OU next year.
I have started blogging 3 years ago but I was not as active on it as I am now! I used to blog mostly about Cerebral Palsy (CP) because I wanted to teach people about it but then, as I got older I wanted to make my blogs to become more than just for CP especially because I have other things to write about rather than my disability. I mean, my disability will always be in me but it is not a priority as it was before and if people want to understand it, they can and if they don’t, well that is their choice.
I have been an activist since I was 14 years old and I think it is time to move on! There are many things which I love and passionate about which I can write about.
Do you enjoy reading?
If so what is your favourite book and why?
I used to be the biggest bookworm in Westside, but now I don’t read as much as I used. However, my all time favourite book has to be ‘The Fault in Our Stars” By John Green.
I can never know why it is my favourite book seeing I have read a lot of other books which were more interesting but this one just made me realise that we should not take life for granted and we should make the most of our days as they were our last!
Are there any books, poems, films or TV shows that have had a huge influence on your life? How?
Slight change of question, what is the hardest part of living with cerebral palsy and anxiety?
Well Cerebral Palsy is a physcial disability which sometimes can be a complete nightmare but it is okay because I am used it. However, CP and anxiety is more than a nightmare, it is hell. You wake up one morning, being able to do the easiest tasks but waking up the next morning, you can’t even pull up your own shocks or you make your own cup of tea. When I have anxiety I become more wobbly than I am and sometimes it makes me feel insecure especially in front of people because like I said, not many people understand unfortunately. This is why I always that Cerebral Palsy is more than a physical disability; some of us live with mental health and it is harder having a physical disability on top.
Sometimes my body feels so numb that I can’t even move and sometimes my speech gets hard to be understood. This is why, some of my blogs are based on Mental Health because I want my readers to understand how difficult it is. There are times where I get anxiety at work and people assume I am not focusing but my head is elsewhere because I am not good at multi-tasking. It is hard but we need to understand each other and make life easier but not harder.
What is the best bits of having cerebral palsy?
I would not be Wobblyblogger without CP, in fact, I would have been a total ungrateful person about life. I would not be as adventurous as I am now. The best bits of having CP are all the opportunities and life opportunities I have had throughout the years. It has been one roller coaster but I always make it out a life surprisingly! It is a hate and love with CP but I am always going to be grateful I live with it because I wouldn’t be me!
How do you look after your mental health? Any tips for others with physical disabilities?
I practice Yoga but yet everyone does yoga nowadays but it is good for people with physical disabilities especially if you are feeling tight, stretching helps you loosen up and it relaxes. You are constantly thinking about your mind and body focusing on that does help. I also like to keep myself busy in work because it occupies my mind and it doesn’t allow me to think about my anxiety but with people with physical disabilities I do recommend yoga and meditation it defiantly helps! You just need to find what helps you; everyone has different ways on dealing and healing with things like this. Some may enjoy a walk but some may enjoy sleep to deal with it. We are all different.
Do you have a quote that you always refer to when your having a bad day?
Which basically means you have create your own happiness!
And finally, best question, cat or dog and why?
Cat just because they are so cute and you can just stay indoors with them and cuddle up. Especially those fluffy ones!
(Nala is so disappointed)
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this interview please share on your preferred social media and spread some awareness of mental health and physical disabilities.