It is strange to look back and remember those hope we all had when we first set out on life for ourselves without the financial support of our families and no one sitting waiting for us to come home at the end of the day. For me well I had a short taste of about 18 months of being thrown out there, rather than launched when I was just 15. No matter how hard I think about it, the one thing I never felt was fear, nor did I ever feel there was the slightest possibility that I might just not make it. It wasn’t just the bravado of a teenager, but not making it, not having a life I would look back on and pat myself on the back for surviving with a touch of personal style, just wasn’t going to happen.
I didn’t get that true feeling of starting my adult life until I left my first husband, I was 27 then, but I felt like a teenager heading out for the first time, I had all those teenage years that I missed living the way that teenagers should live. I have always said I have already had two lives, from birth to my divorce and rebirth to today. Just like a teenager, I didn’t have the slightest plan for the next day, far less the next year or further on. No qualifications, no real work history other than temping before I married, meant work was just a case of whatever I could get, as long as it started tomorrow, that sounded good to me. I had so much to do, that work was just money and I did around the million parties, nightclubs and people I had to meet, explore and enjoy. I had not the slightest intention of even looking for someone to be my partner, at least not in the married sense, I just wanted freedom and fun. When I found by total accident the freedom of being a DJ, who wouldn’t be happy working 4 hours a day whilst taking home a full-time wage? But as you know I eventually settled down and built a career that took me through to my final working years.
Many of the scraps I got into, the bad times, the mad times and the wonderful ones are already written about, but not all yet. Most have been picked out and spoken about because they changed something in my life forever, set me off in another direction or made me think over where I was going, but there is one thing that has been constant throughout all of them and that is I have never had the slightest feeling that I was ever in true danger. Others looking in have worried for my safety but not me, some have even been surprised that I have actually managed to come out alive, but still I just haven’t been able to see what they were worried about, I always knew that I would survive. I don’t know why I have never felt true fear of anything, it doesn’t matter what has happened to me in my life, neither physical or mental abuse ever left me feeling that I wasn’t going to get through it and see another day, nothing ever left me feeling that my life was in danger, yes often my body was, but not my life. From somewhere inside I have always had this feeling there was still more to do, still life to be lived and even when last summer I was told that I had only 10 years to live, I still don’t actually feel that is the truth. Yes for a while I was shaken by it, who wouldn’t be, but now I don’t feel anything about it at all, as it just doesn’t sit right, it doesn’t slot into my life.
So why have I ran thrugh this potted history, well because it shows that I have lived a full life, not one that was pampered, easy or privileged, well not past the age of 12. I have many many times been in positions where most people might have thought they were dying or might not survive to the next day, but not once do I remember the fear that should have been there. I can’t help wondering if this lack of fear, this constant belief that I will be here tomorrow, which clearly has been proved right, has a lot to do with the way I have managed to remain positive despite my health. The things I have been through from childhood on, have proved to me that yes I can be hurt, I can be damaged physically, but I still go on. It doesn’t matter how much pain I was put through, how many times everything I had vanished, I always managed to rebuild, restart and reinvent my life, wiser, battered and bruised but stronger.
I wrote a post a while ago asking the question as to whether we are trained to be ill by our parent, just like that I also wonder if those who have lived through a series of life-changing events and survived are also the people who know how to survive illness and get on with it, rather than being pulled down by it. I know that some people are dangerous, people are the ones who hurt us and could very easily kill us and if they all failed, well why would I let something I can’t see destroy me now.
I often hear on TV about people who have committed horrific crimes, who have also come from dysfunctional families, with divorced parents, who have been physical, mental and sexual abuse, backgrounds that echo mine too closely at times for comfort and wonder why I didn’t disintegrate. How have I come out of it seeing and feeling all the negatives, but holding on the one important positives, I survived. Is that the only difference, or is there more? I survived and I am surviving, just as I always have, being chronically ill to me has been just one more thing that I have to deal with and for as long as possible survive. I know that time cap is there now, but as I said even that doesn’t fit, maybe that’s just because I can’t predict that far ahead, so it just somehow doesn’t feel real, but I guess the day will come when I know I am beaten but it isn’t today, that is for sure.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 27/04/12 – Treatment, honey or not
Everyone with MS will tell you there is one common factor and that everyone has different symptoms. If you don’t have MS that simply sounds nuts, different symptoms surely mean different illnesses. That I am sure is one of the reasons why it is proving to be difficult to find a cause or cure.
Over all the years since my diagnosis, there have been glimmers of hope with new discoveries and so-called breakthroughs and all have either disappeared from discussion, as they are working their way through trials, or simply disappeared as they fail to show results. I suppose the one that there was the most publicity about was the possibility of using stem cells to repair the Myelin……