I have avoided writing about this so far because it feels like a failure, in fact the biggest failure of my life. But I promised myself when I started this blog it would be honest, in the hope that maybe it could help others, so here goes.
RA has already stolen so much from me in such a short time, my dexterity, my mobility, my ability to work currently, the pain free existence I took for granted and the energy to get through each day.
Unfortunately the thief that is RA is this week taking my home.
Homelessness (there, I said it) has always been a distant thing that happens to other people. I donate now and again and I empathise, but it’s not been something that belonged in my world, it could certainly never happen to me. Oh the arrogance.
I was very fortunate, I grew up in a middle class home, my parents instilled a strong work ethic, and I’ve been employed all of my adult life. I’ve paid my way, and over the last few years have enjoyed a good standard of living as I have been successful in my career. I lived from month to month, I wasn’t short, if I wanted things I bought them (within reason – cappuccino, meals out, new lipstick, manicures). Like many people it never occurred to me this could suddenly all fall down. I had no savings, why would I? I’m single, no family to support, no children to leave things to, life’s too short, enjoy it while you’ve got it right?
Then I started feeling ill. At first non specific malaise, then full blown RA. Fast forward six months and I have to admit I just cannot work. Between the chronic fatigue and the joint pain I was not capable of doing my job and being effective. And that’s when it all fell down. Going from a good salary to statutory sick pay overnight is financially devastating. And I had no cushion.
One month I could meet my outgoings, the next I couldn’t, very basic math. I’ve accessed benefits, but they unsurprisingly don’t cover the luxury of me as a single person living in a detached 3 bedroom bungalow. A combination of circumstance and timing have led to me having to be out of my rental by 14th June. It’s really hit me today, I have one week left in my home.
I’ve been trying to source alternative smaller accommodation for weeks, it seems I’ve come up against a shortfall locally in the letting market. Add to that my need for an apartment with either ground floor or a lift as I am now on crutches because of my hip and it gets difficult. Throw in my two cats, even more so.
I have turned down somewhere this week because it was first floor and no pets. I though seriously about taking it, beggars can’t be choosers right? But then I had a meltdown. There is just no way the RA thief is stealing my cats too.
I have spent the last two months at home ill, this has exacerbated my depression so badly additional meds have been added in, and thankfully they are helping. But my cats are my company, my family and my therapy. We three are a unit. For my mental health they do untold good, even the thought of losing them causes immediate anxiety.
So I go into this last week in my house with a large dose of stress and trepidation. I literally do not know where I will be sleeping in a weeks time. But I do know wherever it is, my fur babies will be right there with me.