Trust the Neurodiverse Process with Ilona Bannister E30

Podcast episodes on Careers, Podcast episodes on Health & Wellness | 0 comments

Written by #WWR

July 4, 2022

Ilona Bannister is an American immigrant, qualified US attorney, and UK solicitor-turned-author whose stories are inspired by her own life and those around her.

Her first novel, When I Ran Away, tackled love, mental health and motherhood against the backdrop of 9/11, while her latest, Little Prisons, is an immigration story about domestic workers, coercive control, mental health and loneliness. But don’t worry; it’s not all doom and gloom – Ilona’s books have plenty of laugh-out-loud moments too!

In this episode, Sareta and Chioma chat with Ilona about her journey from lawyer to author, the unexpected benefits of living with a neurodiverse family, the UK’s immigration process, the US Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade and what it means for women.

Ilona also shares her advice for anyone wanting to rebrand themselves. As she says, patience is key, and nothing is a failure, as we can all learn from our experiences and use them to take us to the next level.

It’s like being in a room with Jack Black, Robin Williams, and Jim Carrey doing their standup all at once. It’s chaotic, frenetic and hilarious.” – Ilona Bannister

Ilona shared her inspiring story of learning to embrace the chaos and creativity of living with three family members who think outside the box. Despite having a background of being a very structured, rule-following, list-making person, Ilona has had to adjust to the unique learning challenges her two sons face with dyslexia and potential ADHD.

She also emphasises how important it is to recognise these often undiagnosed issues in adults, as it is estimated that 2-5% of children and 3-4% of adults have ADHD. Her story is a reminder of the beauty and freedom that can come from thinking differently and embracing the chaos of life!

Sareta and Chioma are deeply touched by Ilona’s compassionate heart. Ilona encourages those looking to reshape their lives to be patient and to remember that there is no such thing as failure because every experience we have helps guide us to the next step.

Ilona Recommends

Mrs Death Misses Death: Salena Godden “Mrs Death tells her intoxicating story in this life-affirming fire-starter of a novel Mrs Death has had enough. She is exhausted from spending eternity doing her job and now she seeks someone to unburden her conscience. Wolf Willeford, a troubled young writer, is well acquainted with death, but until now hadn’t met Death in person – a black, working-class woman who shape-shifts and does her work unseen. Enthralled by her stories, Wolf becomes Mrs Death’s scribe and begins to write her memoirs. Using their desk as a vessel and conduit, Wolf travels across time and place with Mrs Death to witness deaths of past and present and discuss what the future holds for humanity. As the two reflect on the losses they have experienced – or, in the case of Mrs Death, facilitated – their friendship grows into a surprising affirmation of hope, resilience and love. All the while, despite her world-weariness, Death must continue to hold humans’ fates in her hands, appearing in our lives when we least expect her…”

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Iloma Bannister - When I Ran Away, Little Prisons

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