Shirley Clayden

2012 - my poetry book was accepted for publication, I hit 50 and it was our silver wedding anniversary. I've been confined to bed for 22 of those years with severe M.E.  My days are simple, very structured with large chunks of enforced rest periods so the small windows of activity I have, I treasure.

I am happiest when I am  well enough to create - be it poetry, card making or  taking photos. I spend so much time and energy battling symptoms but I hope they send a message that  you can still achieve some small things in life, no matter what your circumstances. I try to maintain a positive attitude concentrating  on getting the best out of what I can do not what I cannot. I hope my poems raise awareness about M.E. give some understanding  as we  are not given the recognition or funding we deserve especially for research, forced to fight the system as well as a serious organic neurological  condition. All nett profits will go  to invest in M.E. a UK charity who strive to do just that. The poems are not all about the illness but are a mixed bunch  from funfair, fish, first day at school to footprints in the snow. For me they are a means of escape to a place beyond the bed borders where I am in control and I can feel alive - just for a short while.