This time last year I was full of glee, bursting with relief that could reach the Atlantic Ocean. A gust of wind gave great drying out as I could finally stop holding my breath. The treatment had worked and I was ‘all clear’. Our shoulders become less hunched over, the bags under our eyes lessened, we reduced our daily ‘Howya’ to the man above. I was in the clear. If life worked out the way we wanted to we would all be rich lying in the Bahamas as Alejandro brought us our fifth cocktail. As we all know life rarely obeys our commands.
I had six months of, well I was going to say calm and clarity, but in reality it was six months of scrambling to get my life back together after sickness rumbled through my work, social, physical and mental essence. Like the end of the bowling lane I had to swipe away what pins had fallen and set up new ones. I braced for the ball to race towards me and wipe me out again. Six months was all it took. Don’t get me wrong I made wonderful strides in that time. I broke through boundaries and personal obstacles I never thought I could. But always in that time I waited silently; waited for the happiness to burst.
I waited for a lot of things in those few months; waited to get better so I could go back to work, waited for my fitness to come back, waiting for that best selling plot to enter my head, but mainly waited for life to begin again. Of course at the time I didn’t feel I could, or didn’t want to feel I could, but I will always regret not taking that time by the horns and really do what I wanted. Why didn’t I go to Thailand on that holiday I had booked and had to cancel? Why didn’t I try play a little of the match instead of cowering behind the safety of the white line? It gets to me, annoys me that I let my mind occupy itself with silly little ‘what ifs’; the barrier I place around myself to keep myself in exactly the same position. But I was scared, so scared that if I exerted myself in any capacity of my life too hard it would cause me to relapse. Guess what, I relapsed anyway and there I was- back to face the revolving door of St. James yet again.
Life is unpredictable, so don’t waste any time. It is so easy to get sucked into your cushion of comfort, to not step outside of the boundaries. I wrapped myself in the biggest duck down duvet of protection and didn’t want to move. I found refuge under the banner of my illness. It did me no good. Book that holiday, find a job you like better, dump that gobshite of a boyfriend, go on that J1. It just takes one phone call, one twinge, one second for things to change so why are you waiting. Grab it by the horns. You fancy that lad over there, go talk to him. You always wanted to do ballroom dancing- go try it out. What the hell do you have to lose, except knowing you gave it all, and that is all you can ever do. You deserve to be the happiest you can possibly, you owe it to only yourself.
I have to learn to do something new. I have to learn to accept this as a ‘chronic’ illness, not this acute terrible thing (which is so easy to say but is such a different story when I get a kidney infection, bone marrow pain from the injections, that eternal fatigue- the inconvenience becomes all too real). How do I do this? Right this minute I just don’t know. Trying to put all of this to the side is something I am having trouble doing the past couple of weeks. I am concentrating a lot on what I can’t do as opposed to the 95% of other things I can. This probably stems from the boredom when I am feeling well, frustration of doctor appointments and the uncertainty of when something will try strike me down. I have to get on with my life, and do things like there’s no tomorrow. Get back to a few hours in work, volunteer, write this best seller I harp on about a lot- something to make life seem relatively ‘normal’ again. But also take those trips around Ireland we never stop talking about taking, plan that trip to Poland (in February holaaaa) and do that skydive. I don’t want to feel like I am eternally reliving those rooted six months. I want to move forward, make progress and re- enter this great world where so many opportunities exist if we just open our wide enough and our minds even wider to see. First chance I get I am rebooking that trip to Thailand. No more waiting.