Verity Red – A friend when I needed her the most!
Maria Mann is the author of the popular Verity Red’s Diary: A Story of Surviving M.E. and ‘Love & Best Witches’. I am a huge fan and was lucky enough to be able to interview her recently. I have already written a ME/CFS book review: ‘Verity Red’s Diary: A Story of Surviving M.E.’ by Maria Mann and now I have published the interview with the author, but I also wanted to explain the impact this magical book had on me when I first read it back in 2006.
I know the exact day that ME came crashing into my life – it was 26th August 2001. That is how fast everything can change. It was August bank holiday weekend, and I was away with friends sitting down to a dinner of chicken a l’orange and a nice glass of wine. Before the end of that fateful meal, my life had changed forever.
When I saw in the New Year in 2006 I was pretty much broken in every way a person could be broken. After years of tests, a diagnosis, alternative treatment plans and watching every semblance of the life I knew slip away, all the while struggling with the symptoms of ME and dealing with the ignorance of not just friends and family but the medical profession, I was as low as I had ever been and felt completely alone. But my luck was about to change; I found a book on Amazon called ‘Verity Red’s Diary: A Story of Surviving ME’.
Below is the exact review I left on Amazon.co.uk back in 2006 after I finished reading the book:
I can’t recommend this book enough! It came into my life at a time when I had had ME for 4 years and was feeling totally isolated and misunderstood.
It’s so funny and witty that you can’t help but laugh out loud! More importantly it accurately portrays the feelings and frustrations of ME sufferers. I’d be reading parts and look around to tell everyone “That’s me, that’s me!!!” – of course everyone else was at work, but it made me feel better anyway!
I’d also suggest that friends and family of ME sufferers read this – it’ll help explain what happened to that healthy, sane person you used to know!
As one previous reviewer wrote, the book is heavy, but you won’t notice once you get past page one! I just felt like I got great value for money! It became like my new friend; whenever someone annoyed me with his or her ignorance, I’d just grab the book and stomp off – well as much as one can whilst limping with a walking stick!
Even if you’re lucky enough to live a life untouched by ME, you’ll still laugh, cry and enjoy the illustrations! Afterall, there’s a little bit of Verity Red in all of us!
It was the beginning of 2006 and I was in crisis. I had been severely ill for over 4yrs and all the fight had left me as every treatment had failed and the horrible reality of ME was sinking in. The New Year had come and all it had brought was a sense of dread as all I could see was a year full of pain and worse stretched out before me. I was ready to give up in just about every way.
But then Maria Mann’s book came to the rescue. Everything changed when Verity Red showed up in my life. She was just the friend I needed at that time. She showed me that I was not insane or alone, and that opened up a whole new world for me. I can honestly say, Maria Mann’s Verity Red, helped me to become the person I am today. Thanks to that book, I found other ME sufferers online and I learned to fight the illness. I found support and kindness and was later able to try and provide the same for other sufferers.
This one book changed the downward spiral of my life, and I know it can also have a positive effect on other sufferers. But who is the lady behind this wonderful book? I wanted to know so I contacted the author and she very graciously agreed to answer my questions and allowed me the use of some of her fabulous artwork.
Now read the Interview with Maria Mann Author of ‘Verity Red’s Diary’