Strong Women: Natalie Lee
Today’s story is from Nat from Style Me Sunday. I’ve been admiring Nat from afar. I love her ethos about fashion with feeling, it’s not just about clothes but about feelings too. She says “I use fashion to convey how I’m feeling, or conversely change how I’m feeling. If I wake up feeling a bit low, I’ll often slap on a bit of bright lipstick and a colourful outfit to get me out of the lull.”
I can totally relate to this. But it’s the other stuff she does. Most recently her warrior women project. When I saw her speak out about her vulnerabilities and all the women that followed I felt so inspired. These women had the courage to speak up about their vulnerabilities, when I know most of us (me included) find this so hard.
Nat’s eldest daughter has a rare genetic condition called Brittle Cornea Syndrome, which means her sight is rapidly deteriorating. Her positivity through this is an inspiration and it shines through on her blog and her Instagram feed.
I’ve asked Nat to share her peals of wisdom with us, on how she remains positive and what’s inspired her to create the Warrior Women Project.
Tell us how your daughter was diagnosed with Brittle Cornea Syndrome.
It’s been a long time in getting a diagnosis. I knew something was different since she started to move inside me when I was pregnant. Her bones would click, and as a midwife I knew this was different and no one could tell me why. So from the moment she was born we’ve pushed for a diagnosis, we’ve had many different opinions over the years, and finally when she was 5 nearly 6 she was diagnosed. Then very soon after diagnosis her left eye ruptured and then her right eye. Currently her left has regained some vision but the right eye has none. It’s a complicated syndrome and very little is known about it. The future is uncertain, we are always scared that her eye will rupture again either from an accident or spontaneously.
What got your through the most darkest days?
My husband got me through the darkest moments. When I’m am at my lowest he is strong and vice versa. I’m not going to lie and say we haven’t been tested but we have worked really hard to focus on the strengths of our relationship and that when crisis hits we are a bloody good team. Also seeing how well our daughter has coped has made it all the more positive.
What’s the one thing that you learnt the most about what you’ve been going through?
That at some point in time things will get better. I know they can get worse as well, but at least this time I know the darkest days won’t last forever. There was a time when I thought I could never be happy ever again.
How are you different now that you’ve experienced what you have?
I’m a lot more compassion for people in general. Everyone has their own struggles. I also have so much empathy for people who have children with special needs. I always thought things like this would never happen to me but it makes me realise just how fragile we really are.
What would you say to someone going through what you’ve been through?
Take each day as it comes, just do what you can do given the resources you currently have. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not being superwoman. Take time to look after yourself.
How have you stayed so positive through everything you’re going through?
I’m a naturally positive person, I always have been. I hate feeling low, but sometimes you just do. I take the time to allow myself the feelings and do everything I can to help myself, such as counselling.
Tell us about how your Warrior Women Project came about.
The aim of my Warrior Woman project is to get women loving themselves again. I want to help build confidences, if I can. As women, we especially have a tendency to be self-depreciating and hard on ourselves, but we also have a huge responsibility to the next generations to not pass on our insecurities and unwanted/ unproductive feelings. There is a way to change our thoughts, don’t just accept that that is how it is.
That is why I’m so passionate about my project, even if I can make a tiny bit of difference, and at the very least it gets people thinking. I get a lot of messages saying how I helped them to think differently or just showed them that they are not the only ones that feel that way, and that makes me SO happy.
Thank you for featuring me I feel blessed that you’ve asked me to share my story.
And thank you so much for sharing your story and being so open Natalie.
Nicky Duffell is a nutritional therapist and health coach who works with clients to improve their health and wellbeing. With over 17 years experience in the corporate world Nicky uses her experience of coaching senior executives to help clients gain control of their health and achieve their goals. She’s a Mum of two beautiful children and know’s what it’s like to juggle family and work. Nicky is passionate about food, health and her family. After life took her on a few twists and turns she started this blog to share everything she’s learnt. You can follow Nicky on Instagram for all her food inspiration and health tips.