Having my song included on the LDUK website is something of a surreal moment for me, and feels like a bit of a landmark.
6 years ago, I first found LDUK, and along with the many friends and family that have helped me, I have often cited them as being an integral part of saving my life.
Back than I was entirely housebound and bedridden with a dual diagnosis of Lyme & co and M.E. It’s been a long road trying to reclaim my health, and although I am still mostly housebound, I have a much better quality of life these days, and most importantly – I am well enough to be present for my beautiful children.
Somehow though – clawing back pieces of my health was not enough. I felt desperate to reclaim my identity too. Having Lyme disease seemed to have consumed my entire life, as I’m sure many of you will understand. Everything changed. I was living with it, learning about it, juggling medication for it, fundraising to afford treatment for it. I was raising awareness, trying to help others avoid what I was going through, and I was worrying about my children having it. It filled every inch of my life.
Although I still deal with symptoms on a daily basis, and need to carefully manage energy levels and activity time – I didn’t want IT to define me anymore. I wanted to feel more than my illness. I wanted to take back my ‘self’.
My mind was ticking over with ways that I might be able to work again, so that I could afford my own treatment instead of having to fundraise. I knew that during ‘good spells’ I was still capable of a high standard of work, but my days, and sometimes even my hours, are so changeable that I could not offer any consistency to employers. I realised that I would have to work from home, and most likely needed to work for myself.
Returning to music seemed like the perfect solution. It became obvious to me that there’s always something I can be doing depending on how well I am. On good days, I can record vocals and music. On not so good days, when I am unable to sing, or play music, I work on the admin side of things. On bad days, I write lyrics in bed, and on terrible days…. well, I’m working for myself, so I’m not letting anyone down! We are lucky to live in an age of technology – which I, and so many of us chronically ill people, rely on for research and support, and a social life and shopping, but I knew it was also a way to share my music, even though I am still not in a position health wise to be out and about working on the local music scene.
Hummingbird is my debut single. When I became ill and the doctors had no clue what was wrong with me – Jodie Bassett from the Hummingbirds’ Foundation for M.E. along with LDUK were my saviours. When I stayed in the US to attend a specialist clinic, my garden there was constantly full of hummingbirds, keeping me entertained whilst I was in treatment. Hummingbirds seemed to be magical and lucky for me. When Jodie sadly passed away, I wrote Hummingbird and was generously given permission by her parents to use her self portrait as the cover art for the song, which meant so much to me.
In the song, you will find a line that says..
‘Someday, when they ask how I survived, I’ll tell the tale of the day you saved my life’
This line is for every single person that has helped me on my journey. I am always aware, that I am able to do the things I can today, only because of the support, love and generosity of other people.
Thank you LDUK for featuring my song and completing a circle. From being there to support me in my darkest days – to featuring Hummingbird as my small personal victory over Lyme & co.
Sending much love to you all. Be kind to yourselves, I know how strong you have to be daily – you are incredible. I hope you enjoy Hummingbird – progress is obviously slow, but there will be more music coming soon xxx – Laura Brown