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16 October 2014

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A Good Yarn

By Mary Elise
October 2005, Wales
A digital story from Capture Wales

Road to Recovery

When an illness called ME marched into Mary's life, it had a shattering impact. This is the story of how one woman coped.

"I grew up thinking, get an education, get a job, get married, and you'll be happy. So I pursued the university degree, enjoyed my career, and married.

One day I became ill. That illness is the hinge of my life. ME marched in, invaded and conquered. Robbed me of family, friends, vocation and marriage. Eleven years I was held captive; eleven years of a myriad of symptoms which varied from hour to hour.

Exhausted, I climbed up and down the stairs on my bum. Black towels were taped around the windows, so not a single pinpoint of daylight would enter the room, even though I wore sunglasses. I wore earplugs, as whispers would make my ears ache. I lost my fingerprints for two weeks. I had the stuffing knocked out of me.

In that vortex, I cried out to the Bible, the unravelling of my life stopped. I taught myself to read again.

Learning to crochet, I gifted all who knew me with an afghan. It was vital that I created something with my hands, items that were tangible and measurable at the end of the day. My husband blessed me with his absence. Free from that relationship, I was able to focus on my self.

I decided to make my home in Wales, and leave behind. Stronger and better now, I create photographs and words ... I'm enjoying my life and me. Once I believed I was worthless, now I know that I am priceless."

Mary Elise

Please tell us about yourself.
Raised in North America, I moved to Wales after a life-destroying illness. I'm now rebuilding my life.

What do you hope people will take from your story?
I hope my story will encourage others suffering with an illness or the end of a relationship and to provide and insight for others. This is my chance to put things in the proper perspective (widen the aperture).

What did you find the most rewarding about the workshop? The interaction of the group and the mentors. Going from, "I'll never do that," to "Wow, I did it!" (with much help).

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