Topic #104: If you had to debate a version of yourself that was ten years younger, who would win? What about a game of chess? Or a 5k run? How are you better, or worse, at various traits than you were then?
If I was competing with myself in any form 10 years ago, I’d win hands down because I was bedbound and unable to do anything, so it hardly seems a fair competition. I’ve changed a lot from th girl I was back then; but I think most of those changes have been over the past two years. When I was really ill it was a bit like being in a cocoon. I was isolated from the outside world; but the learning I had to do was about myself and how to cope with being so ill. Dealing with intense emotions when I was too ill to be able to talk and too weak to cry. Having to bottle everything up and bury it deep inside because I just didn’t have the physical strength to do anything with it. Trying to keep my sanity when I was trapped in a body that won’t get better and feeling as if I was going to be like that forever, even though deep down I knew I would get better. Every day was a battle with myself to hold it all together, taking life a minute at a time, literally. Scary to think back to it now. I’m not sure how I got through it all; but there wasn’t really any other choice.
I learnt a lot about perspective and what really matters and what isn’t. In some ways it’s made me harder and less tolerant; but it’s meant that I don’t get too bogged down in nonsense, the way I know I might have done, if I hadn’t been through it all.
I feel like I stopped growing up when I hit 16 and became bedbound, I suddenly missed out on doing all the normal things girls my age were doing. Now though I’m starting to catch up on some of the rites of passage and I am finally catching up with my peers. I feel I’ve grown up incredibly in the past few years and I feel like I’m coming into my own, as a person, separate from the ME and the stuff that’s happened in the past. It’s a cliché; but it’s definitely a journey I chose to go on and I’m so pleased I did.