Rachel’s book of love…and important life lessons

While living in Australia in 2014, Rachel Drury was diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis, a long-term condition which results in inflammation of the bowel and has led to her suffering drastic weight loss and numerous hospitalisations.

The 37-year-old Sligo woman has written about her experiences in coping with the condition, as well as the love and support her fiancé, Ballybride native, Des Flanagan, has provided, in a new book, ‘Powered to Fall, Empowered to Rise: A Journey in Love, a Journey Together’.

“I moved to Australia in 2013 and that’s where I met Des. Soon after, in 2014, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis and experienced both good days and bad days. The bad days meant hospitalisations and strong medication,” Rachel said.

“Des and I got engaged in 2017 and we were supposed to get married in Ireland in 2018 but we had to put our plans on hold because I needed more treatment.

“I was working as an engineer up to 2018 but by then the condition had made it impossible to hold down a full-time job. I spent two years trying to allow myself to heal but always in the back of my mind was this idea of writing a book,” she said.

Rachel and Des had moved to Drumcliff in Co. Sligo by the time Covid-19 arrived in Ireland.

“When Covid hit, I plenty of time to put my thoughts on paper and write about something positive,” Rachel said.

“It was a dark period in my life but I wanted to turn it into something positive, especially for younger people.

“The disease has given me a new appreciation for life and I feel lucky to have a home in the countryside too. Writing is a new path for me and I’ve enjoyed getting up and writing down what I’ve learned over the last few years”.

The book is split into four sections: Health, Wealth, Happiness and Love and Rachel has certainly experienced plenty of the latter since meeting Roscommon man Des.

“The main lesson I learned was that even though the disease had taken everything from me, it showed me how much Des could love me even at my lowest point. Des really showed me what unconditional love is,” she said.

‘Powered to Fall, Empowered to Rise’, which carries a very positive message, is self-published because Rachel wanted to “take a chance” on herself.

The book, which featured on The Ryan Tubridy Show in February, is doing well but, more importantly, so is Rachel.

“I have a nice balance in my life now,” she said, “I can prioritise myself and manage my stress levels now.

“There has been an amazing response to the book on Amazon so far and now I’m hoping to get it into bookshops in the west of Ireland, including Newsround in Roscommon town.

“I am also selling it on buythebook.ie and now we have another author, 95-year-old Roscommon woman, Brigid Kavanagh, who recently released her beautiful memoir, and will also be selling her book on the website,” she said.

Rachel’s book ‘Powered to Fall, Empowered to Rise’ is available to buy on Amazon, www.buythebook.ie and will soon be available in local bookshops.