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Young, Sick and Invisible

My illness has shaped me,
But it does not define me.

My Hopes And Dreams

Sand Dunes

I often think back to when I was younger, when I used to dream of wanting to be a superhero, saving the world and growing up to have a family of my own and wanting to make a difference. It's funny how quickly all that has been sifted away.

But first, let's reminisce:

I can remember at such a young age that all I have ever wanted is kids of my own, a place to call home when I'm older and a partner who loves me the way my mum and dad love each other, that bond that is unbreakable. Who doesn't want a relationship like that ..? Not only a family, but a job that would last me my whole life, I can remember wanting to go from a superhero, to a policewoman, to a nursery teacher, to a detective, to working in customs and excise. The older I got the more prominent the jobs got, I felt determined .. not to mention the pay looked amazing.

I also hoped that me and my family would live in the same area, that I would have enough money to have a nicely sized home, two dogs, maybe a cat, fish and a grand kitchen to bake and cook in. I even named my future dogs ... yikes.

I dreamt that I would keep my best friends for life, that we would grow old disgracefully (sorry Dad), we would all attend each others weddings, our kids would also be besties and we would eventually be still causing a ruckus in a nursing home.

It's funny how all of that fell apart at a drop of a hat. How all my hopes and dreams were literally crushed within an hour. Its like you have been promised your dream holiday and it's in your grasp and then suddenly everything falls through and you're left in a pit of misery and depression.

Sorry to sound so blunt, but this is what it feels like waking up one day feeling as right as rain and going to bed not wanting to draw another breath. It's not just chronic illnesses that do this to you, but mental illnesses.

You wake up and feel like you'll get so much done, wanting to accomplish so much so you can rest the next day, but before you know it your mind is eating away at those positive thoughts and you're still in bed a week later and you have done nothing except go loo.

I know many people with illnesses, both physical and mental, who have gone on to accomplish so much in life, take celebrities like Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez, Gaga has Fibromyalgia and Gomez has Lupus ... yes, you see them smile and rock it at a concert, but you don't see them behind closed doors wincing at even putting on clothes, shuddering at the weather and ultimately wanting to get into bed and curl into faetal position and go to sleep.

Yes, I may be only 20, and many say I need to think positively as my life is only starting, you're right, it is just starting, starting to go downhill.

I am now considering not having any biological children as I am scared they'll get my conditions, I wouldn't even pray my worst enemy gets this, so why would I risk giving it to a little human..? I also doubt myself, doubt that someone will ever love me with all my faults and all the baggage ... as a joke I now call myself cat lady, I'll be 50, single and living alone with 50 cats .. not that thats a bad thing .. who doesn't want loads of cats ..? Ha.

Not all of my hopes and dreams have turned into negatives, oh no, actually, I wouldn't be where I was today without all that has happened, so that I am thankful for .. I am currently volunteering after 2 failed jobs .. and boy do I love it there, they respect me, my illnesses and all that comes with me .. which is literally all I could ever ask for, I am also thankful for my parents love and support, no I may not show it but I can't tell you two how much I love you and am thankful for all the emotional, physical and mental support you provide me with. I have two beautiful cats that help me a bunch .. if you don't have a pet, I definitely recommend getting one, it's like they know when you're sad, and they come for a hug .. boy are those moments special.

I also still have one friend, we may not talk a lot, but once we start it's like time has stopped and we can have a laugh like old times. Those moments I live for.

So in the end it's not all bad, yes my life, and many other peoples lives change drastically, but there is positives coming from the negatives ... you may not always see them, but they are definitely there. I am not looking forward to my future, but I am looking forward to growing older .. I know, it doesn't make sense, but I can't wait to grow and learn and meet new people who are just like me, new people who I can teach and those who want to learn. So in the end, my life may feel like poo, but I have a little dung beetle pushing me to my final destination ... hopefully it's a good one.

'Our hopes and dreams should be like hair and nails. No matter how many times they get cut, they never stop growing.'

Until next Monday,

Bethany S.

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