““Is there something you've always dreamed of doing, but haven't been able to?" This is the question Lucy Rose asked me which led to us sitting and standing respectively on a blustery cliff in Northern Ireland in the middle of January and feeling a general sense of awe at the wild beauty of the Giant's Causeway. It’s not a situation I ever thought I’d find myself in.
I am disabled with several chronic illnesses, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) also known as ME. Most days I'm unable to leave my home and everything I do, even the most basic of tasks, has to be carefully considered.
To be honest, my initial response to Lucy’s questions was something akin to terror. I also have Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) also known as Asperger's, and anxiety, and the idea was very far outside my comfort zone. But in many ways, the fact that it terrified me so much is what made me say yes. My illnesses have taken so much from me, and here was this opportunity to do something amazing, an opportunity to prove to myself that I could have a crazy, wonderful adventure exactly as I am. I wasn't about to let my illnesses take that from me too.
For me, it’s that sense of wildness I crave. “Let me live in the wild” — that one line of Lucy’s song sums up the core of my dreams so perfectly. But finding somewhere wild and beautiful, and also wheelchair accessible is easier said than done. After some research, Giant’s Causeway seemed like the perfect choice, it had the wild beauty of the Northern Irish coastline and a clear and detailed access statement drawn up by the National Trust, and was even one of those places I had dreamed of visiting but had given up on because I thought it would never happen.
I can say that the trip was everything I had hoped it would be and more. Sitting and watching the waves crash against the hexagonal stacks, feeling the wind in my face, and hearing the roar of the sea — moments like that are fuel for the soul. I know that whatever life throws my way will inevitably be hard, but I’ll find the good in it too. And I’ll make sure I find a way to go back and live in the wild every now and then.”
- Zoe Schofield