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I think it’s safe to announce that I have been invited to speak about my research topic at the TMS one day conference in March. I’m doing a presentation/Q&A session in the morning and then co-running a Pain Coping workshop in the afternoon. It’s such an exciting opportunity not least because I am a TMer talking to TMers! It’ll be the first time I’ve been in a room with people who have my illness.

My research proposal is coming along and I’ll be mentioning that in my presentation as well as covering psychological coping models. I am already nervous because I’ll be going after my own neurologist – who is the Keynote Speaker in the morning. It’s both a terrifying and wonderful opportunity and will definitely be going on my CV! This along with the journal article getting published in psychology journals even before starting my PhD? It’s fun and it’s good for my career, I know full well how lucky I am to be doing something I both love and enjoy.

When I began studying psychology I did so in order to be someone who could help people in a way that few people really could. I think I am starting to be able to do that – finally. After leaving school at 16 to care for my dying mum, then going back at 26 only to fall ill a few months after graduating my undergraduate degree, it’s been a long time in coming but my journey will hopefully help others do the same.