This time, 10 years ago, I was coming out of the hospital having nearly died. I was hit by a car while walking across a zebra crossing.
I sustained a lot of injuries as I’m sure you can imagine. Some healing quickly, others never going away.
Up until that point I had been a strong, driven, healthy young person. Then my world kind of fell apart.
My plans for University had to be shelved, the active life I had been leading was abandoned, no more dance classes, no more theatre performances, everything had to stop. Except swimming, swimming was good physio for my knees.
I was already having a lot of problems at home, working a lot of nights at a sandwich shop while studying for my end of high school exams, and managing to maintain good grades, this was just the last straw.
I went ‘off the deep end’ so to speak. My teenage years actually make me believe in inherited karma!
I became very reckless, with myself especially, I moved around a lot, I partied and worked office jobs while taking a very unhealthy amount of painkillers. Drinking and dancing to forget my broken dreams.
It took a long time for the majority of the injuries to clear up, and still I have no sense of smell, an incessant high tinnitus and damaged bones. But I got on with life, the partying changed to travelling and slowly the travelling became studying. I was back on course, I just took the long way round.
Then I got struck with M.E/CFS. I believe the term is, the straw that broke the camels back, or perhaps more accurately speaking I had no personal resilience. I used to, when I was younger, but I must have lost it in that drunk haze. I drifted away from old friends, from family. I moved around too much to cement new friendships, relationships came and went. And during that process I lost any resilience I’d acquired. So when this new illness struck, I withdrew, I sealed myself off and I couldn’t deal with loosing my life all over again.
Now, reading over some pieces, I wouldn’t say I have full blown Victim Complex…but there are definitely elements sneaking in here and there.
And this is something which deeply unsettles me. I never wanted to be that person. My brother and I had a chat over Christmas about how when growing up we were both definitely on the side of, ‘just get on with it’, yet that has changed for me. I realise that when something bad happens, I dwell, I curse, I spend far too much time thinking, “Why me?”
Yes, my recent illness has been bad and again side railed my life until it was almost unrecognisable…but I am improving constantly. And yes, getting hit by a car was awful, and sucked big time, but it’s been ten years. I feel like more damage was done to my mental health in the long run than to my body.
So Hello 2016! This is the year where I am focusing on my health, both mind and body. I am not a victim, I am a strong woman bad things have happened to, but I won’t let my life and myself be defined by those things.
As they say, onwards and upwards!