This week I needed to visit a larger town, Port Augusta, to do some shopping for food and things for the van. The saving grace for me was visiting the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens, where at least I could recover from the assault of chemicals that had assailed me from the moment I stepped from the vehicle in the township. These days I’m not as severely affected by these chemicals as earlier, but that’s only in general terms. There’s still times when my normal functioning is compromised to a greater degree. Farm chemicals remain the worst. Or should I say, herbicides and pesticides, as more and more home ‘gardeners’ are using these killing products. Society has been brainwashed into thinking they can, and need to, control Nature. Look at the language that is used now – kill, control, eliminate. Not nurture, respect, understand.
I’ve had 15 years to gain an understanding of what cut me down in what I considered to be the prime of my life. It’s taken me a long time to describe how it feels to live in this ‘modern’ world. For me it feels like living in a war zone, with a possible sniper around any corner. I’m always on alert, if I’m in a populated area. I’m a refugee in my own country, ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice, to escape to somewhere less toxic.
That’s one of the reasons I live in a camper, why I live on the road. It’s safer that way.
I’m one of the lucky ones. At least I’ve had the experience of a normal life. It’s the children I really feel sorry for. Especially those whose parents have little to no understanding of how they are contributing to their own child’s illness. I’ve also always been more of a fringe dweller, so the isolation from most social situations isn’t an issue. Spare a thought for those who’s lives are extremely challenging, where they cannot bear any sound, light; where getting through the next moment is a huge effort.
Anyway, the reason for the rant today, is the latest post from Labyrinth Press.
When I was diagnosed with MCS/ME, I was lucky to be referred to a doctor who had at least an understanding of it, and who supported me in my efforts to survive. Eventually I was able to receive a government pension. Today, if I presented with the same symptoms I would be told it was a mental condition, and put through a whole raft of exercises and ‘treatment’ that would only exacerbate my condition. And no pension.
Before I got ill, I was running my own business. I was independent. Accepting the advice to apply for the pension was difficult. The day I received notification it was forthcoming, I felt extreme grief. Loss. It’s been an interesting journey. 🙂
But without that financial support, I’d not have survived. Most likely I’d have taken my own life, as many do, when the struggle is totally overwhelming.
Probably one of my regrets during what I call the ‘horror’ years, was not telling friends just how bad I felt. I had grown up not talking about feeling, and certainly not expecting any support. I was used to ‘cracking tough’. I was not being truthful. To them or myself. I lost most of the few friends I had. They didn’t understand why I couldn’t even have a telephone conversation let alone cope with a visit. In the end, it was the kindness of strangers who helped me through it.
So it’s been an interesting process….. to get me to where I now will speak up about a very personal matter publicly. It’s because it matters.
The reason I speak up is to help the others who still feel they need permission to speak up. We have a voice – let’s use it for good!
The reason I titled this post Canaries in the Coal Mine, is because I feel people need to take heed of what our bodies are telling us. We need to take heed of what animals are trying to tell us. We need to take heed of what the Planet is trying to tell us!!!
For Heaven’s Sake, open your eyes and ears and your heart and CARE for all – we’re in/on this ball in the sky together, and need to wake up and work in co-operation with each other. Please please please.