Hi folks! My name is Debi Gregory and I’m the National Disabilities Manager for the Pagan Federation (England & Wales). I’ve been Pagan for almost fifteen years and follow a solitary ancestral path.
Family plays an important part in my life. I have a huge family with three brothers, six sisters, five nieces and four nephews, not to mention my huge extended family, which I’m very close to. My sisters and I get up to a lot of mischief. My children are my world. They’re noisy, mischievous and full of an energy that they certainly didn’t inherit from me! We go all over the place, they love exploring woodland, they adore history. Elaina is artistic, Julia is a daredevil, Stevie is an adventurer.
My husband is my all and my everything. My rock, my solace, my sweet nights sleep. He’s also the prat, the thorn in my side and my early morning wake up! Forget the kids, it’s him that interrupts my peaceful dawns!
I wasn’t born disabled, although I was born with slight learning difficulties. It wasn’t until having my children that my health started to seriously affect my life. Now, three babies, three nervous breakdowns, almost dying twice and almost being crippled twice later, I think it’s safe to say I’m about done and have kindly petitioned the Gods to leave me the hell alone!
Just when I had given up on my hopes and my dreams, the Gods sent me a message. They sent me Mike Stygal and the Pagan Federation. An opportunity more than fell into my lap, it was a huge cat, sitting on my chest and glaring at me to pet it. I obviously decided to pet said God cat and took up the role of Disabilities Manager. Mike encouraged me to try my hand when no one else was willing, obviously there was slim pickings or he’d have asked someone else. I’m not entirely sure he didn’t beg on his knees for others to do it but he’s stuck with me now!
My disabilities are varied and much too much to write down all in one place but they range from severe depression to using crutches due to pregnancy complications aggravated by Hypermobility. I try to use my crutches as little as possible but during the winter they tend to come out about 80% of the time. I may never be rid of them but I’m not giving up!
Since becoming Disabilities Manager I’ve met, online and in person, so many inspirational people. They’ve given me the strength and determination to keep my head above water even if only to be there for them. The first person to inspire me, many years ago, to take a bigger step into my faith, was the woman who would eventually become my Disabilities Deputy, the fabulous Ms Beth Murray, who lit a fire in me that I was afraid would never spark again. She’s now dating my best friend too so it means I get to see her even more than before, which I’m very happy about!
My best friends and I are a good sort. We’re always the height of maturity. A shining example to all on the finer things in life.
I’m also a writer. I recently published my first novella and I edit my mum’s books, which are set in a fantasy world ruled by women. These books are so inclusive of all faiths that it wasn’t until I started editing them that I realised just how intelligent, compassionate and fair my mum really was and it gave me a deeper respect and love for her. I may be biased but I highly recommend her books, the second of which is due out soon, to anyone wanting a good adventure! You may even notice that one of the characters is based on yours truly but I won’t say which one.
My own book is of the erotic variety. In what seems like another lifetime, I did a lot of work with forces charities. I performed for veterans, helped to raise money and generally just tried to do right by those I consider to be most deserving of our respect and reverence. I particularly enjoyed singing for the golden veterans. I sang songs from the war to take them back and when I was with them, they shared with me the stories of their amazing lives. I also wrote short scenes for some military wives in a group I’m in, to distract them while their husbands were away and they encouraged me to get it published, so I did. Unfortunately it reflects a side of me that some wouldn’t approve of because the book is basically twenty odd thousand words of sarcasm and sex. If that sounds like something you’d be up for, feel free to download and leave me a review! 😉
That’s a lot of information about me so I’m not going to bore you further. What I would like to end with is by saying that, while I didn’t want this job to begin with, that was more about my self doubt and my lack of confidence than anything else. With the help of this awe inspiring team I hope that I can do what I feel in my bones is my calling in this life and that’s to help others. It’s what I’ve always felt I was meant to do.
I struggled to fit in so much when I was growing up. At school, with my peers, in my own family and even in my own skin but I finally feel that I’m right where I belong. Right where I’m needed. With you, helping you. I hope that this insight into me and my life has helped you to feel that you know me well enough to trust that I will do whatever I can to help you all. I may not be perfect, who is? But I will always do my utmost to be open, honest and realistic about what we can do and I promise that, while ever you still want me, I’ll be here for you all.
Be kind to yourselves and to each other.
Remember, without trust, we have nothing!
Be blessed, folks!
xXx Debi xXx
This post originally appeared on our first site, dis-spelling.org.uk in 2016