Last year, for the first time, I became involved in The Big Sleep for ME and some of my poems were cleverly illustrated by Julia Cottam and by M.E. Awareness: Words and Pictures
The Big Sleep for ME is a fundraising and awareness event helping Invest in ME find a cure for ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). It includes a mass 'Sleepathon' during ME Awareness Week (11-17 May).
Following the fantastic response I received to my poems I felt confident to write more poems and before the end of the year I published a book via Amazon
Julia has written a lovely blog about me, my poetry and my book Dreams can come true.
One of the poems from last years 'Sleepathon' was called 'M.E. Groundhog Day' after the film of that name.
It was also written to coincide with the International M.E./CFS & FM Awareness Day on 12th May.
The idea originated with Tom Hennessy, the founder of RESCIND, Inc. (Repeal Existing Stereotypes about Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases). Mr. Hennessy was based in the US but understood that it needed to be an International event. He designated May 12 as the International Awareness Day for the spectrum of illnesses he called Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND).
May 12 was chosen as it coincided with the birth date of Florence Nightingale, the English army nurse who inspired the founding of the International Red Cross. Nightingale became chronically ill in her mid-thirties with a Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)-like illness. She was often bedridden for the last 50 years of her life. Despite suffering from a debilitating illness, she managed to found the world’s first School of Nursing.
Mr. Hennessy included ME/CFS (also known as Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome -- CFIDS), Fibromyalgia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Gulf War Syndrome under the CIND umbrella. These illnesses, characterized by cognitive problems, chronic muscle and joint pain, extremely poor stamina, and numerous other symptoms, afflict people around the world in alarming numbers.
GroundhogDay is a 1993 American comedy film where Murray plays Phil Connors, an egocentric Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during a hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, finds himself repeating the same day over and over again. After indulging in hedonism and numerous suicide attempts, he begins to re-examine his life and priorities.
M.E. is much like that where the same day is repeated over and over again and like the film we are forced to re-examine our lives and priorities because of this illness.
It's twelve years since I first became ill and recently I have been doing a review of my illness and my life. I've decided I need to change, put me and my health first. I have to say "No!" more often and not be bullied into doing things that are beyond my ability. I have to stop pushing myself and making my health worse.
Maybe on 12th May it's a good opportunity for you too to reflect on your life and your priorities.
Now we are approaching the 'Sleepathon' for 2014 and once again Julia has asked me to contribute
So during M.E. Awareness week 11 - 17th May more of my poems will be appearing, thanks kindly to Julia Cottam and The Big Sleep for ME team.
Not to be missed so keep an eye out!
From the French Femme xxx