Well, if I’ve got all this time at the hospital to kill, I might as well spend some time writing.
I’m coping with this new course of treatment better now. I know I am because I’m not crying as much before, during or after each hospital visit. I still hate the way I look, the way they send me off to work, but I’m halfway through the course now so I’m sure it’ll all be over in no time.
One of the nurses thought I was crying over the treatment because I’m vain. Oh that set me off even more.
Crying over my looks is vain in a way, I get that. But beneath the red skin and greasy scalp from the treatment is…well…it’s a child, if I’m honest. It’s 6-year-old me being ridiculed by schoolchildren due to my claw hand, my wonky walk and my psoriasis-clad skin. It’s an 8-year-old me being carted to and from the hospital for various treatments – most of which either hurt or smelled bad but none of them worked.
It’s 9-year-old me after years of comfort eating or boredom eating (during appointments and the like) gaining loads of weight and simply giving the kids something else to make fun of me for. And then we reach 10-year-old me, being told by family that they wanted me to be skinny because no one would ever love a fat girl.
And I’m not going to even attempt to approach my teenage years.
Beneath this 25-year-old girl typing this post is simply a child who has spent 25 years of being diagnosed with disability after illness and disability. 25 years of non-stop hospital appointments and treatments.
And there are times I feel that child within me. I feel how much a simple hug would have made everything better. I feel the ache for a little more compassion back then.
A little extra love.
I am surrounded by love every single day. I know that now but throughout every diagnosis and every treatment it still surprises me that no one asks you how you feel. They ask what’s wrong (physically) and how the treatment might be going but no one asks you how you’re coping mentally.
Perhaps they’re too nervous too. Let’s be honest, mental health is a tricky subject to navigate at the best of times, especially by those who don’t understand it.
Another diagnosis. Another thing wrong with me. Another course of treatment.
But I’m feeling better than last week. I’m coping better than last week. And at the end of the day, that’s all I can ask for.
Support, love and a little bit of self-compassion – a recipe for a better week. Oh! And don’t forget pillow forts on balconies either…