What do you do, when something big comes into your life? You look at it, perhaps research it, and if it’s something that is going to cause changes to your life, you work out how you can make it work well for you.
Chronic illnesses are certainly big things in your life. Some you were born with, and you grow up with, but others can suddenly appear in adulthood, with you never knowing the potential for having them was there. Some just come along, out of the blue, and you’re hit with a new ‘normal’ to work your life around.
The one I’m thinking about is the one that hit me, in the latter form of Chronic Illnesses. I have no idea of how or why the cosmos decided I was going to have this illness to deal with for the rest of my life (or until they find a cure). MS came along for me when I was in the later part of my forties. My life was going along well enough, I was studying after many years away from school. The study I was doing was going to be my path perhaps to a full-time job. Or if not full-time, then certainly a paid job, instead of the volunteer jobs I’d been doing since our son started upper primary school.
When MS came into my life, I decided I was not going to let it bring me down, but I would take advantage of it to think seriously about what I truly wanted to do in my life, and do it. I was involved in various writing related things, and also involved in Lawn Bowls. I’d had discussions with my skipper at Lawn Bowls about my interest in poetry, and she had told me I had to make a choice between the two things. I didn’t agree with her -I could do both, but it did make me work harder on whichever thing I was suppposed to be doing, and concentrate in a more focussed way on whichever it was.
So when MS entered, I decided what was important to me, and how could I make it work? I have been the President of the Adelaide Plains Poets group since 2005, and I knew that was important to me, so I worked harder at that, making it more important to me. I was involved with a poetry reading event in Gawler, and put more work into that too. I had begun putting together a poetry collection at the time of my diagnosis, and it was extremely personal and I made sure MS didn’t stop that from being launched.
Once that was launched, I began work on a memoir about this crazy new disease, and what it was doing to me, and how my life had changed because of it. I finished writing that book, and self-published it, with assistance from my new and important group, the MS Society SA & NT. I had discovered abilities in myself I hadn’t known I had, and I found many people who were happy and more that willing to help me, and be involved in the writing related things I was doing.
They are still with me, passionately being involved and putting out the word to others that creative writing is an important way to live your life. My self-publishing is going ahead, I have my first poetry collection published by an actual publisher due out at the end of July this year (2016), and I am in the middle of finishing another self-published book, which would never have been created if I hadn’t developed Multiple Sclerosis. When I think on that, it hits me, it really hits me hard, in a funny way – Life surely is a funny old thing!
This blog would never have been created, without the MS, and I would never have had the walking aid I recently loaned to my husband when he needed a walking aid. MS is Mighty Silly, and Marvellously Surprising! If you’ve had something major hit you and make you change your life around, I’d love to hear about it!