The shipwreck happened, a health crash that meant early retirement and was followed by several other diagnoses over the next two years. A positive menagerie of conditions all requiring care and attention. M.E. is the main protagonist, aided and abetted, amongst others, by diabetes, coeliac disease and high blood pressure. But I refuse to allow them to become a hobby.
With the arrival of chronic illness, any hope of topping up my basic pension with other earnings faded.
So here I am, Jeanne Ellin, facing old age without the buffers of good health or comfortable cash.
I do not recall signing up for this challenge. I wanted the adventure holiday. You know – the cruise with the full service, fine dining, optional mini-safari. Not to mention that handsome man of suitable age wearing a tux and posing against a backdrop of stars.
In fact, what I really wanted was to continue working as a poet, with more residencies, some abroad, and hopefully some more festival appearances.
Yet here I am, somewhere different, but I will accept. A real adventure! Uncomfortable, uncertain, with surprises along the way.
Shipwreck can happen to anyone. It is always unexpected, traumatic and life changing. Health, finances or relationships can founder. You find yourself marooned on unexpected shores, and realize that rescue will not happen. We will pass over the grief, anger and denial. You can imagine that for yourselves.
As a shipwreck survivor I am fortunate to have the company of others though we have little in common beyond our survival. As a survivor I realise I will have to have new goals, set myself up to win. Work out what can be saved from the wreck, what new things can be created from the wreckage?
I am committed to making a positive, creative and satisfying life for myself. In these posts I want to be honest, share the truth of my life without moaning.
I am not a victim and do not see myself as one. I am an adventurer and invite you to share the adventure with me.