When I was asked to write this column my editor asked me to write about something pertaining to disability, I guess an opinion piece really.

Well today I am breaking the rules. I spend so much of my life banging on about my disability. It gets boring after a while.

I am more than my disability. It’s difficult when you work in disability rights as it becomes all-consuming.

So here is the man behind the disability: If someone asks what I am good at I would say cooking and photography.

I’m really a creative person – a skill that I put to good use in my hobbies. I rarely cook the same meal twice; I can make a meal from nothing, or cook a lavish feast. These are the things that give me pleasure.

My achievements include a 150 profiterole mountain (have that Bake Off!) and a catered party for 40 guests.

I can poach an egg perfectly and know how to cook fish so that is has crispy skin and is pink in the middle.

When it comes to photography, I can turn my hand to most things. I have photographed friends’ weddings and entered competitions for nature and documentary photography.

I have a knack for portraiture and I see obscure beauty in everyday items.

I love the science behind photography, composition, lighting and aperture.

It’s so powerful to have the ability to record any moment or make it more beautiful or to catch a moment in time forever. It gives me pleasure.

It doesn’t end there. I have a big passion for nature and I also work for Oxford University doing research into big cats in Borneo.

I’m a keen gardener and have a beautiful garden full of unusual plants.

These are the aspects of me that have transcended my disability and this is who I actually am.

Yes, I’m outspoken and don’t tolerate poor treatment or poor facilities. But behind every disabled person is a person.

It’s often a battle to remember that I was a rounded, adventurous, interesting person before my accident and that I still am. I don’t have to just become a spokesperson for disability.

I guess when someone at a party asks me ‘what do you do?’, rather than reply I work in disability rights, I should say: I am a cooking enthusiast, amateur photographer and a nature lover.

I can keep the aspects I enjoy and do my bit for society too. I guess everyone fights their corner for their issue, be it gender equality in the workplace, provision for your kids, a healthcare issue that affects you and your family.

I think it’s an important reminder to check in with yourself and see that life hasn’t passed you by. Whatever your issue is – and you all have one I’m sure – let it co-exist with what you enjoy.