Inspirational is the only word to describe Katie Piper. I picked up her book, Things Get Better, at the airport on a whim, something I will be eternally grateful for. Her story is that amazing.
In 2008, Katie Piper was the victim of a vicious rape and acid attack, which resulted in Katie losing half her face and caused severe damage to her internal organs (from breathing in the acid). The thought of this is so shocking, so horrifying, many of us will look away from even the text on the page. But I urge you to read on.
We are left thinking: How could anyone want to live after that? How could you possibly go on?
The honest truth is, many people would not. Many of us despair at much less. It is Katie’s story of how she fought through her despair, her physical pain, her humiliation, that is truly awe inspiring.
Unlike so many so called ‘inspirational’ stories I have read, as impressive and inspiring as they are, Katie is completely honest and open about how truly despairing she was after the attack. Katie talks about how the first step in living, is wanting to live.
I think for anyone who has ever struggled with life, this is important to hear. The physical and emotional pain Katie went through was more than any of us would want to imagine. She was at absolute rock bottom in every possible physical and emotional way. And it was for a long time. There was a lot to endure, a lot of pain, a lot of fear, a lot of humiliation… for a long time. There was no easy way, no short cuts, and lots of set backs.
Katie’s story shows us that it is possible to get through even this, possible to survive. Step by step, small piece by small piece, the human spirit can overcome and achieve amazing things.
By no means is Katie’s life now easy, or even pain free. Katie admits to still struggling with many things in her life, both emotionally and physically. But Katie also tells us that she has true joy and happiness in her life, and that her life has meaning and purpose. What is truly inspiring is not that Katie has survived, but that she has gone on to truly flourish.
If ever you are thinking you cannot go on, if it is all too much to bear, read Katie’s book.
You can go on, you can endure. But more importantly, you can flourish.
To find our more about Katie Piper, her story and her amazing work with her charity, check out the The Katie Piper Foundation‘s website. You can also follow Katie on Twitter @KPFoundation.