Addison’s Disease means that at times I suffer from fatigue, muscle pain, and have trouble concentrating at times. Taking on the MA whilst working full time has been a huge challenge.
The Falmouth Flex course has been very rewarding and also challenging.
However, it has helped me to learn how to micromanage my condition. This has been achieved by tracking the amount of water and salt that I consume. Salt is very important for me as my sodium levels are usually very low. Eating extra salt can actually give my body a boost when I need it.
I have developed tremendous persistence and determination to do my best on the course. I have never limited this in any way. The first year was particularly hard and at times arduous. I have had to make sacrifices along the way to achieve this.
Firstly, I reduced my working week to 4 days a week in September 2017. This will be reduced to 3 days a week in September 2018 as I plan towards a PhD (something I never imagined in my future). I have had to develop discipline and persistence to ensure that I complete everything I need to. In that respect, suffering from a chronic disease has been a fantastic teacher as I was patient enough to learn its lessons.
But it hasn’t stopped there. The MA content has been so interesting and challenging that I have achieved far more work than I thought possible. My passion and enthusiasm for knowledge gained through both research and practice have been lit on fire by the course. My work ethic and work rate have, as a result, both increased as I have progressed through the course and this will stand me in good stead for the future.
I am so grateful for the support from all the staff on the course. I have been forced into re-examining who I am as a photographer. I was lost before the course started, but now I know what I am want to explore.
But, as always, my illness is beginning to catch up with me as I approach the end of a module (and this time, the end of the course). So, even as I write these last few entries, my body is tired and I am fighting yet another infection. It is time for a rest after final hand in at midday today.
Would I change anything if I did it again? Hell no. This course and its challenges have been the best thing to happen to my photographic practice. Without it, I would still be a lost photographer ambling along. Without it, I would not have met some amazing people who will remain in my life after the course.
This course has taken its toll on me but in a good way, as I emerge from the end of the course rejuvenated and excited for my future. Thank you, Falmouth!