Our Team - Beauty is what you make it
Hear Their Stories
Margaret Probin - Assistant Psychologist (MBPsS) -Founder, Fearless Leader & Trustee
My Name is Margaret Probin. I live in Manchester, England, but i was born in Harare, Zimbabwe and I suffer from a condition called Fibromyalgia. In 2014 I started this Foundation called Living Behind The Mask Charity. I have 11 years’ experience in the health sector, I studied Health and Social Care at Stockport College which gave me a strong foundation towards my career path. I have a Degree in Psychology from the University of Bolton. After my Degree I trained in Health Promotion giving me a qualification to become a Health Trainer through Naz Project London). In 2011 I attained a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology from the University of Chester which enhanced my academic research knowledge. Before i could attempt my PHD in Psychology, in 2012, what seemed like a tragedy, at the time, struck.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS), which is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body, as well as a heap of other unpleasant symptoms. The cause/causes of Fibromyalgia are unknown. However it is believed to be related to abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain and changes in the way the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) processes pain messages. It is also suggested that some people are more likely to develop fibromyalgia because of genes inherited from their parents. Other causes of fibromyalgia are thought to be caused or triggered by physical or emotional issues such as injury or life changing events which might have caused stress.
On the 16th of December 2012, I woke up not being able to walk. I had a sharp pain in my lower back which went down my left leg. My body was inflicted by so much agonizing pain - I felt as though I was in constant childbirth. My skin felt like acid or boiling water was being constantly poured over me repeatedly - medically know as Dysesthesia. On top of not being able to walk, I stopped talking, writing and had to wear nappies among other things. I had the most violent spasms and tremors and it took up to four strong care givers or nurses to restrain me when this happened. It's an understatement to describe the pain as excruciating - if anything it felt deathly. I am sure not many will understand nor will they ever experience what I went through nor will I ever want anyone to suffer my pain. I am now in a better place but still dependant on others. I have days where I can't even leave my bed but a positive mind keeps me going.
Before I even started recovery, my marriage broke down and all the things I used to love doing as an independent person I could no longer do. Small tasks such as brushing my own teeth can take me at least 30 minutes to complete. After being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I was also diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME) and suffered chronic headaches, back ache and Dysesthesia. I need help with bathing, cooking and many tasks which I used to take for granted. Sometimes I can barely wake up because the pain is unbelievable and I find it difficult to walk. I have better days and some days are unbearable when a flare-up happens. But I am a fighter and everyone who suffers from fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are super-strong individuals. So in light of this situation i had to change my plans to focus on recovery, and on my path of self discovery, in this new chapter of my life is when i came up with the idea for this foundation, because i realized just how useful a cause like this can be to someone who is this position/ situation.