This will be my first post on this forum.
After many years suffering chronic pain and living with it, I reached my limits.
For the last 10 years I have been a flying instructor, which was the most fun I have ever had at work. The intensity of my working day provided enough of a distraction to keep me going, until the distraction of the pain took over. When I stopped, which was an extraordinarily hard decision, I collapsed. Months passed, some days I could move others not. By the middle of the summer I was able to move around but had no stamina. My hands felt like claws and I had constant pain. It took months before I could see a rheumatologist, during that time I looked OK, which caused me unexpected problems. Those around be could not see my pain, it occurred to me that we lack vocabulary for describing pain.
Steroids helped, MTX helped, not to get rid of the pain exactly but rather to change it into something less acute. My skin was cold all the time and it felt as though icy ants were crawling all over me. Plus the daily surprise, what will I be able to do today.
It became clear that the medication was not going to return me to any semblance of normality, added to the fact that taking MTX ended my flight privileges, I was going to loose my job. 10 years of great fun flying and teaching and learning, also the job came with a flat to live in and after 10 years it was my home. All gone.
Social housing could not offer me more than BnB, sorry but no. I was told that RA was not regarded as a special case.
With a little money left in my savings account, after nearly a year of nothing but minimum statute sick pay. I was desperate. Private sector renting proved far too expensive. By chance I found a boat for sale on a quiet marina, a deal was struck and now I live on a boat. One step from homelessness.
The boat, has its own difficulty but it is my space and I needed that, it also provides me with something to do when I can. We both ( the boat and I) need healing, this felt right to me when I considered it in the first place and still does.
All the external noise had to stop before I could begin to grieve the loss of my life.
The boat is my cocoon or perhaps my chrysalis.
How am I? The boat and I are still floating.
Thanks for listening.