Subject: “Bad News”

Words you never want in the subject line of an email from your travel agent 6 days before you are to board the cargo ship you have dreamed and planning and talking and saving for about for two years.

With sinking stomach I opened the email and read that someone had casually crushed my dream.

“I regret to advise that CMA-CGM have declined to carry you because your Medical Certificate states that you suffer from bi-polar disorder.”

It’s so challenging to shift gears this close to achieving a dream. When you’re this close you think you’re safe, no one can snatch it away, you can’t fail. But dear friends they can be taken from you up to the 11th hour. Damn that hurts.

It wasn’t just a little jaunt on the river, this was to be 23 days across the Pacific without internet! I was going to crochet my hands off, I was going to read, get into shape (ish) and meditate at the bow with the sea wind in my face. I would go for long walks around the ship, I might even crochet hats or slippers for the crew! This was to be my epic adventure! Even as I write this my heart pounds with excitement just thinking about it. I get horrible sea sickness and I wanted this experience so bad I was willing to push past that. Seriously, I have gotten nauseous watching the Granville Island ferries in False Creek on a really windy day.

Singapore Sling

I was going to sail into Singapore harbor on a cargo ship and then go to Raffles Hotel and have a Singapore Sling, how freaking amazing would that have been?

But no, I won’t be able to have those experiences because a corporation in France read some of my doctor’s words but didn’t care about others. I am bi-polar but I have been stable for close to 20 years. They never bothered to call me, they could have even insisted I go to a doctor of their choice to be accessed. Nope, they just wrote me off, threw me away. I wonder if the person who made the decision even gave a thought about me, the person. Not likely. I’m sure they are very busy with more important things than my little dream.

Sadly one of the repercussions of their decision was I was hit with a tsunami of shame and embarrassment. I have never been ashamed of my condition, at the time of the diagnosis I was actually relieved. Naming the horror meant others had it and it could be treated. I worked hard to make sure I learned to handle it. Years of therapy and medication has paid off and I am stable as the Rockies. But here I am ashamed and scared. I am scared that others will use this as an excuse not to let me pet sit or let me do something else that means the world to me. If I have been discriminated against in the past because of my condition I didn’t know about it. Gawd, how do people deal with this every day? Especially when they are trying to move down the road to recovery? At least I’m strong enough that this isn’t going to crush me but I think back to when I was just starting to learn to deal with it and I wonder if I would have made it if I had to face discrimination too.

I decided I had to write about it because I believe the only way to deal with shame is to drag it out of the shadows and the closet and share and shine light on it, to face it and say NO! I am not shame-full, I am not a monster. If anyone should be ashamed it is the person that rejected me for no good reason.

I am proud to say that it didn’t take me long before I got some perspective and was grateful that I have choices, that no one died or the hundred other things that is so much worse than being denied an experience, albeit an amazing one. Still my heart hurts and I am dealing with this shame thing. People have put up with me yammering on and on about going on a cargo ship for years and now I have to face them and admit it isn’t going to happen, it may never happen. (ouch ouch ouch). But I will survive and thrive.

I’m flying to Singapore on Sunday and I’ll spend those 23 days licking my wounds in Bali. When I put it that way it lightens my spirit considerably. I am well aware of how lucky I am!

But I’m still sad, really really sad.


19 thoughts on “Subject: “Bad News”

  1. Oh, TC, I’m so sorry. Have you tried contacting someone form the agency? Don’t mess around with the frontline person, either. Ask (demand) to speak to a manager. Don’t give up without a fight!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, what an injustice! I commend your bravery to write about it though. And you can still do most of the things you planned, although with different surroundings. Many blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! That’s unreal! It sounds illegal tome somehow! I’m impressed and proud of how you’re handling it! You are amazing, something just as amazing will come out of this as you deserve only the best! OST lots from Bali!! Love you, you auld crone!! 😘🤪🐴👏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would have never guessed you are BP. I love reading about your adventures. Sometimes God closes one door so we can walk through another with even better journeys to be discovered. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well that is just shitty! But your attitude girl is awesome! I get the shame, and the heartbreak. I feel it for you. I’m so sorry you don’t get to live this dream. At the same time you demonstrate that you will move on quickly enough and find other dreams to make come true. Have fun in Bali. It’s a very special place. Perhaps you’ll discover why you’re there instead of on that boat.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I wrote about courage today and if I had read this yesterday I would have included you. Actually, I’m going to update it and include you, because talking about it takes courage. It hurts. It sucks. But more than that, moving on with an attitude that refuses to be stifled is audacious. I hope that Plan B will exceed Plan A in unexpected ways. Your dream may not be realized (this time) but you dared to dream, and sometimes, my friend, that takes courage!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Courage | jennsmidlifecrisis

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