Mehbooba, practising Jujitsu moves at home with her children.

Image: Mehbooba, doing Jujitsu at home with her children.

My name is Mehbooba. I have three children, two boys and a girl. Both my boys aged 12 and 8 have autism.

Three years ago, my depression was so severe I couldn’t get out of my bed. I also have IBS and fibromyalgia. During the pandemic I met a group of mums of children with autism online. We started talking and it was transformational for me to share my experience and know I’m not the only one.

My son doesn’t make friends easily, but he loves cycling so I found Cycle Sisters and learnt to ride a bike so I could do it with him. It took me 4 days. I was so proud of myself and now we can go out together and he loves it.

We also go to Jujitsu together. The teacher encouraged me to try it and I thought, I can’t because of my body pain, but it feels good when I do it and I think my body is stronger than before. I still have fibromyalgia, but now I can do cycling and Jiu Jitsu.

This year, we went on a camping holiday, and I even tried surfing!  If I think about the future then I will worry about my children and it makes me sad, but trying new things like surfing made me so happy and I think to myself – Why not enjoy the moment? I love this moment.

This film was made for Bristol Girls Can by Mehbooba, with support from Knowle West Media Centre.

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