For those of you who haven't heard Katie's inspiring story, at 24 years old she was viciously raped by an ex-boyfriend, who then got someone to throw sulphuric acid all over her face.The acid blinded Katie in one eye, and subjected her to full thickness burns across her face and the rest of her body. Since the attack occurred, the former model has been slowly trying to adjust back to normality, learning to start life from scratch, eating, drinking, going out alone, all things that took endless amounts of time and patience. She is just about to undergo her 110th operation to restore her face.
She then appeared in a documentary for Channel 4, entitled 'My Beautiful Face' in which she broadcasted her story to the nation, and this is where I became apparent of Katie Piper and how inspirational she truly was.
From her first ever documentary, she went on to set up her own charity, entitled 'The Katie Piper Foundation', which works to help and support others suffering from severe disfigurement or burn victims. She wrote her first biography, called 'Beautiful', which I read, and cherished as a story that really makes you think, not only about the cruelty around us, but the ability we have to turn it around.
Her new book is no exception to the rule, where she manages to successfully tell audiences 'how' she overcame these traumatic events, and takes us through the ways in which we can also overcome huge life-changes that occur in our lives, whether it be a break-up, depression, loss of a job or family member, etc. The selfless way in which she wrote her latest novel makes it one that I am going to be turning back to in a hurry, to help me notice that light at the end of the tunnel.
Of course, I cannot personally identify with Katie in her experiences, in her trauma. However, I know the feeling of rock bottom and I use Katie's life to suggest that if she can recover and improve then I also can. Her ideas of learning to be a survivor and not a victim, having faith and trust, taking risks, and counting blessings which she discusses in her latest novel, are ones that I can try and adapt to my current surroundings and use those to help embrace recovery in my own way. And so can anyone out there.
I am gradually learning to accept life as a cruel world, as much as I hate it being that way. But there are little elements of the world that we take for granted, even just the fresh air (something I experienced today after being trapped in the house for 11 hours revising!), the family/support we have around us, the landmarks we live close to (living in London is perfect for us), artistic elements, and many more.
I am grateful for my family, and the small amount of true friends that haven't screwed me over (although unfortunately there are not many), I am grateful for the teachers who provided me with my education, where some have turned into life long friends, I am grateful for Literature, my senses, my boyfriend. So much in life we can appreciate and cherish.
This is how I recognise how far I am into my recovery process from my issues. I can recognise these blessings and cherish them. I do take risks. I don't let petty comments get to me anymore and I fight back at them. Of course, I have my down days that assist depression, where I 'hate everyone' and 'can't stand the world' - but looking into lives such as Katie Piper and Jessi Parrott (the girl I spoke of in Monday's blog) assist me along the road into realising how important life really is.
So thank you, to people such as Katie Piper, and Jessi. You in many ways inspire my recovery from an illness which a year/two years ago I thought was impossible to recover from.