ANNA FRUNS ROMERO. Suara Cooperativa Member
Restless, passionate, positive and committed. Anna Fruns, who for two years has worked in the Suara Change Management and Social Participation Team, came to the Cooperative as a family worker, and nowadays she does not conceive that in life you can work in any other way than by putting the skin. When she was only 18, she was diagnosed with lupus, and during this period of self-knowledge she has had to learn to manage her particular box of emotions. Acceptance and non-judgment of oneself are aspects that she now values and defends, as well as the need to believe that things, done with love, always end up getting ahead. Do you want to know her life story?
How did you get to the Cooperative?
I came as a surrogate from another company. I had studied a training cycle in Social Health Care and a Higher Degree in Social Integration, and I had only been working as a family worker for six months in the La Guineueta neighborhood. It was then that I found out that I was becoming part of Suara, and after a while working at the Cooperative they offered me a job as Management Coordinator, and I was already doing this job. It was all very fast!
Why did you decide to study Social Health Care?
The truth is that I didn't know what I wanted to do, I couldn't find my way in life. I was mad at the world, I would bounce over anything. Nothing in particular had happened to me, but I wasn't managing my emotions well. I have never liked expressing them, because I have always felt vulnerable, but today I have to admit that I have made a great effort to change it. I was 16 years old when I enrolled in the cycle, and I had no reason to study one thing or another, I was just waiting to see how it all ended. I did an internship in a residence that was in Barceloneta, with people with physical and mental disabilities. And that's where I opened my eyes, the blindfold fell off.
In what sense?
I realized that no matter how angry I was at the world, compared to those people, most of whom were very young, my life was completely full. There I discovered that there were problems in the world. That's when I was diagnosed with lupus, which is a complex, chronic autoimmune disease, as it can affect you in many different ways. In short, it causes any change in your life, no matter how small, to affect you. One of the possible symptoms of lupus is that you become photosensitive, and that is what happened to me at first, the disease manifested itself on the skin. 10 years ago nobody explained very well what lupus was, not even the doctor. I knew which organs it could affect, but since it was a new disease and I was one of the youngest patients, I really was not aware of what I was suffering from.
When did it all start?
A couple of years ago when I had the first breakouts in my joints. At that moment my biggest fear was thinking about how it would all end. And the crudest thing of all is that nobody knew how to tell me. One morning when I was getting up, I realized that I could not button my pants. And another day I wasn't able to pick up my cell phone, or even write. I felt a very strong pain in my hands, a very unpleasant sensation.
Is lupus a rare or minority disease?
It is, and many times we are not aware of what it means to have such a disease. The fact that they are not known causes that they are not considered for what they are. You have to be very bad, in full bloom, for this to happen or be seen. I did not need to be classified as sick, what I needed was to know, understand what was happening to me, and manage it, because nobody explains how to do it, especially emotionally speaking. I remember one day I went to the hospital with a very bad outbreak, and the only response I received from the nurse was that I had lupus and that I had to get used to living with pain.
Do you think there is a lack of empathy behind all this?
Yes, the lack of empathy in these types of situations is enormous. The figure of the doctor is essential when it comes to managing these emotions, because even if the news is bad, if there is good support behind it, the feeling of well-being and team is much greater. You are no longer alone with the disease, and that makes you feel much calmer. The other good part of all this is that, once you accept it, you forgive what is happening to you, everything begins to improve, because stress can also affect and enhance the appearance of breakouts.
How has this acceptance process been?
I've had two very hard years, in which I have been very angry with my body, with my mind and with all the people around me. Now I have been working on all of this for a year, managing my emotions, and I find myself in the moment of forgiving and accepting. Over time I have realized that what was happening to me is that I was fighting with myself, with my head, and that made me fight with other people. I was sad or angry about having the disease and I did not accept these emotions, what I did was judge them. Also, it is very difficult to find the medication that makes you feel good. However, I have always managed to achieve my goals and, in this aspect, I have now found stability. What is certain is that if at some point I want to be a mother, I will have to stop this treatment, because with this medication I could not get pregnant.
Is it a subject that distresses you?
It worries me a lot, because my body may not support it, since any change can cause breakouts. The day that I decide that I want to take the step of having a child, it must be planned and agreed with the doctor, so that he can assess whether I am stable or not. I would very much like to be a mother, it is one of the missions that I have pending in life. I have a hard time doing it, but I sincerely believe I have a lot of love to give. I have a very close relationship with my family, we are like a clan. My sister is eight years older than me, and I have two nephews. My family and my partner are my life, I could not feel more complete. If I didn't have the disease but I didn't have them, I wouldn't be compensated at all.
Now you have been working for the Participation Team for two years, what prompted you to take this step?
I needed a change, and I decided to apply for the job offer. And like all the places in the house that I have worked, I have learned a great deal from my tasks in the Area. In Suara I have grown professionally and as a person. And that is the down payment of the Cooperative, because without realizing it you put your skin on. I sincerely believe that the people who founded Suara 10 years ago are leaving us this heritage, the desire to believe that this project is possible. I cannot conceive of working in any other way, without feeling it that way. I became a member in 2015, and the truth is that I had no doubts. There were people within the Cooperative who served me as a reference, and if they were part, I also wanted to be there. I am very proud of the Cooperative, and of the people with whom I have crossed over the years. Suara has made me believe in people, in a we.
You are a very positive person, right?
I try to be whenever I can, because I sincerely believe that a smile fixes everything. I really like to complain, I consider it a hobby, but I have a lot of fun doing it, because it helps me laugh at myself. I am a person with many concerns, and traveling is my frustrated passion, I have not had the opportunity to do it and as the years go by, I notice that Barcelona is too small for me, and that I need to discover other things. I would very much like to go to California, and if I could choose where to be born, in the next life, I think I would like to do it there! I don't believe in reincarnation, but I do believe in the Anna of the future. I've seen so many movies that I imagine what my life could be like in such a place. I am a very Hollywood person, and I have many scenes recorded in my head. At the same time, I am aware that the things I do many times are not perfect, but since I do everything with a lot of love and feeling it compensates me, I believe what I do at all times, and I want to continue doing it this way.