Still Me is a book written to help reassure and empower children who find themselves experiencing illness. It aims to help them handle strong emotions and connect with a sense of safety and comfort, from deep within themselves.

This book reconnects children with who they really are, whatever might be happening to their bodies, and includes imaginary journeys to safe, fun places that can be used as resources to escape and heal during difficult times. It also reminds children of the things that they can do, despite any present limitations.

Suitable for children aged 5-10 years old and beautifully illustrated by Jennie Reed.


Still Me – Uses of chapters

Still Me is meant to be used by dipping into different sections as needed and using it as a workbook or cheerleading activity to celebrate the continued inner strengths of children experiencing illness or injury.

It also allows them imagined sanctuaries where they can go mentally to regroup and reenergise whenever needed. Carers or professionals may choose to read the guided visualisations to the children, or children can read them alone if they prefer.

Chapter 1 – Still Me

This chapter reassures the child of their inner strength and value, whatever may be happening to them physically due to accident or illness.

Chapter 2 – I Can

This chapter focuses the child on enjoyable activities, emotional and practical, that they are still able to participate in and enjoy, emphasising their strengths and abilities.

Chapter 3 – Imagine

This chapter contains visualisations that take the child away from their present circumstances and allow them to experience imagined sanctuaries, where they can go mentally to regroup and reenergise whenever needed.

Why I wrote the book:

Following a series of ear infections, I developed and managed to deal with tinnitus in one ear. Within a couple of months it appeared in the other. Since I had managed to handle the tinnitus by sleeping on the troubling side (which dimmed the noise), its development on the other side threw me. Now there was no escape.

I stopped being able to sleep and I became desperate. But in my desperation I learned a lot of things. And when I couldn’t sleep, I wrote. The result is what you see here, a children’s book for kids who are dealing with illness or trauma to do with the body. Because I thought, ‘If I’m afraid, what must it be like for a child?”

Not being able to control my body gave me an insight into what was, for me, the most frightening thing in the whole experience – that if I was my body and my body was going wrong, I was losing myself. When I remembered that the core of me was always there, and perhaps stronger than ever, I felt better.

I wanted a book that told kids exactly that. I wanted to develop something that would stop kids from feeling afraid when things were going wrong with their body. To know that their core remained untouched and just as precious and true as before, no matter what was happening on the outside.

I wanted to comfort the child inside of me. And in that comforting I came to find an insight into what might reassure others. Beth Dumonteil

“Then in the end what strikes one is how astonishingly malleable we are. You learn to do without a remarkable range of things you thought were intrinsic to your person, and they turn out not to be. There is some intrinsic person inside who is not dependent on these vital external attributes.” Tony Judt, Historian (1948-2010) speaking about his experience with Motor Neurone Disease.

© 2018 Beth Dumonteil.