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Majella’s Story

Try something new, you might just love it

Majella McCarthy

I clearly remember my shunt blocking when I was 17 years old. I felt sick and was so fed up. I felt so hard done by – not again! I remember thinking that I was the only one of all my friends and family who had to put up with and go through this. I went through life feeling everybody was leading their own great normal life – I was always comparing myself to them and wanting what others had. I guess I had a habit of looking through the “negative lens” in life.

I began to keep a journal about what life was like for me. I used it as a therapeutic exercise at first but then things started to turn around. I realised all the things that I have achieved. I began to see all the positive things in my life, which I was a little bit blind to before.

I decided to write a book about my journey through life. I wanted to tell people that are in a similar situation to me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, if only we allow ourselves to see it.

For me, it is a constant search to find new friends

I always say that I would dearly love to have more friends. A lot of my friends are older now and moved on from Dunmanway. It can be really hard then as an adult to meet people who like the things that I do and who are interested in doing what I enjoy.

Because I live in West Cork I find it hard that everything seems to happen in the city. I do drive locally but it is a big task for me to drive alone into the busy roads of the city. Then at night time, it is even a much bigger challenge. Therefore I continue to try to find nice things to do in my local community always the hope of meeting new people – my own age. I heard a lot of great things about the Community Choir in Dunmanway so I decided to join. I was so excited about going to my first practice and meeting new people there. Most people I didn’t know them but now I know them well and it’s so enjoyable and lots of fun. There is a great atmosphere and everyone talks to one another. I am part of the company, it is a very sociable choir, everyone is treated equally. It’s just great to be part of it.

Living with hydrocephalus

I have spent the last three years writing a book about ‘My journey through life’. The launch took place a few months ago in Dunmanway and I asked my choir would they sing at it. Everyone said they’d love to and were so excited about it. It made me feel great.

I love going to the choir now as we have plenty laughs it is such a sociable group. We even go for coffee after for a cuppa and a chat!

Majella giving a talk about her book 'My Journey Through Life' during Crann Community Day, September 9th 2018.

I think that it is very important that people get out and about to meet their friends and even make new ones like myself. Sometimes we may not feel like it, it might feel like too much effort but I promise you it is always worth it.

I think it is really important to speak out about what a person wants as everyone is a strong human being in their own unique way in life.

Majella’s hope is that her book will help people without health issues understand the challenges she and others with conditions like hydrocephalus face on a daily basis. All proceeds from the sale of ‘My Journey Through Life’ are going to the Cork Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association. ‘My Journey Through Life’ is available in shops locally.

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