My Story: “The Person I Know Is Not There’’

ME !



By Kathryn Barton in MINDFOOD.


ME is a debilitating condition with a wide range of symptoms, often brought on by a viral infection. Kathryn Barton details how this cruel illness has totally transformed her life.

I remember well the day I broke down in front of my open wardrobe. The intensity of the moment shocked me more than the moment itself. I knew what was in there.

I’d packed up all my sharp, well-cut suits. Gone were my business shirts with their no-nonsense narratives; gone, too, were all my good shoes. I gave them all to Dress for Success, the charity that helps disadvantaged women get back to work. Oh, the irony.

I kept the fine, taupe tweed with its skinny belt and swing skirt. And the shoes and bag that were so smart – teamed together they had me unofficially voted “Second-Best Dressed” at the office. I remember the glow that came with that comment. I’ve kept this one outfit aside for the funerals I can stand upright at long enough to attend. What a cheery thought.

If I ever need this outfit again, I will find it hard-up against the back of the wardrobe, where I can’t see it. But, statistics show that, in all probability, I – Ms Over-Achiever, A-Type Personality – won’t ever dress like that again. I will never be back working in a big job earning a hefty six figures and giving more than I physically and mentally had to give; nor will I ever finish that second Master’s degree, with only two subjects to go.


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