Guest: Wynnikka Matthews
Wynnikka is no stranger at sharing her story of living with a disability since birth, due to a birth injury and having to navigate through life because of the irreparable impact on her overall well-being. She openly speaks about having a wealth of support from her parents, extended family, good friends, and solid mentors, all guiding her to reach her potential and become the woman that she is today. Wynnikka expressed the many difficulties that her parents had to navigate on their own as there was little support available to families who underwent obstetrical (birth) brachial plexus injury. She poured her heart out on what it was like to feel like an outcast, being bullied by other school children, deliberately to have fresh starts. In addition to discovering her way through life, disability and pursuing forward, she kept her own momentum going to complete academics and quickly grow up to help raise her younger siblings from the age of 18 after her mother suddenly passed away. Through her journey, she has learned to love and accept herself fully, has worked to heal from trauma, anxiety, depression and working through suicidal ideation, and has reached a place in her life where she has been able to find meaning and love in her personal relationships, while having clarity that she can reach her full potential with anything she puts her mind to. Her key message to the listeners is that: give yourself all the compassion you need and foster less self-blame; healing takes time and it does get better with time; people’s perception of you, is not you, so don’t let them define you; not everyone will recognize disability, and you may not be aware of one’s disability, don’t judge what you see, get to know their full story.
Guest Bio: Wynnikka, also known as “Wyn Inspires” is a young black woman with a physical disability living in Toronto, ON, Canada. At the age of just 22, she self-published her memoir called “Brighter Days Ahead,” where she opens up about her journey living with Brachial Plexus Injury | Erbs Palsy. By exploring themes from adapting to everyday living, overcoming many forms of bullying, self-hate + self-harm to learning how to love and accept herself, Wynnikka continues to share her story with the goal of inspiring others.
Not only is she a speaker and fierce advocate for all things disability and mental health, through her merch and awareness pages, she continues to raise consciousness on these topics. Wynnikka also co-hosts a podcast on love and relationships and is currently a Community Healer and Senior Peer Mentor with the Community Healing Project in Toronto. With a passion for working with others and raising awareness for mental health especially within the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and person of colour) community, Wynnikka continues to be inspired by everyone she meets and uses her own voice and journey to meet, uplift, heal and inspire others.”
Community Healing Project: https://stellasplace.ca/community-healing-project/