Having a chronic illness, that is without a cure, and that can cause me at times to be unable to walk many metres with any degree of stability, is a worrying thing. This is the illness I was diagnosed with back in 2010, after I had a physical breakdown, and my entire right side was suddenly weak and barely able to support me.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) had come into my life, and given me challenges I had never had to face before. With time, and assistance from both the MS Society SA & NT, and Disability SA, plus help from my family and friends, my life is still going well, in fact in some ways, I’m actually now living a great life.
Having developed this disease, I took the time to have a really good think about my life, what I was doing with it, and whether I was actually enjoying all of the things I was involved with. We all have things in our lives we do from habit, or because of the expectations of others. When you have less energy/ability though, the best thing you can do is to think about what means the most to you in your life, and act to make those most important things happen.
So now, six years into my new life with MS, I’ve launched two new books, with two more getting ready to be launched in July, with another one to be launched in October. I am now the Writer-in-Residence at a lovely new cafe in Gawler, Poetic Justice Cafe Gallery (3 Walker Place) where a portrait of me hangs on one of the walls. I also run poetry workshops at this cafe once a week, every Sunday morning, and I’m loving it. Also, the writing group I’m most involved with will be launching an anthology with I am editing, again in July. I am becoming known in the poetic world in Gawler and beyond, and I know some absolutely wonderful and creative people!
Yes I am on the Disability Support Pension, and yes, it’s a bummer knowing I will probably never again hold a full time job, but I love my writing and community-connected life, and if I never earn another cent in my life, I will still be satisfied from the writing and community group involvement. Being involved in life is what makes your life great, and my involvements in life are wonderful!