Where I live it is always windy. The buildings around here are tall, which means they break the wind in two, which means that no one leaves the premise without a nice case of motorcycle hair. Even I get to look like a live a little.
I can’t remember if I have already told you this, but I have decided to do this semester over. It wasn’t an easy decision, and it took me months of struggling to keep up before I became ready to accept the fact that it is just not possible – at least not for me. I can neither take nor give at this point, and every day is a practice in being kinder to myself and cutting myself some slack. I didn’t do this to myself. I didn’t go bungee jumping or jet skiing or river rafting or anything else that closely resembles taking a risk (or chance, depending on how you look at it, although in my case it is always risk), for I know the rules of this game, and I honestly do not mind them for the most part. Playing it safe fits my personality; or perhaps personalities are easily adaptable. Who knows who they would be without their years of molding?
Ever since I went back to school four(!) years ago, after years and years of nothing, I have had very little patience when it came to my body’s various cases of acting out. Let me give you an example. Two years ago, the night before my FINAL exam, I had an epileptic seizure and broke my hip in two places. I woke up at 4am on the floor in a puddle of vomit; confused, disoriented, and in excruciating pain coming from my hip. I managed to get myself off of the floor and get into bed, where I then lay awake until the next morning, where I talked to my grandfather, told him what happened, and then asked him if he would please come over and take me to my exam in my wheelchair, because I wouldn’t be able to walk. Not going didn’t even occur to me. Well, perhaps it did for a split second, but I was so determined to not have to deal with the hassle of having to take a sick exam that I pushed myself out the door in the most repulsive state. I can’t even imagine what I must have looked like – or perhaps even smelled like. My mind was a haze; incoherent and fuzzy. To this day, I have no idea how I got through it. How do you talk about rhetoric and presidential speeches, when you have just had a seizure and your hip is broken in two places? I guess the adrenaline from having experienced something so fucked, was stronger than the pain. I was in shock. The second after I got my grade we went straight to the hospital, and the outcome of that had so many repercussions, that my life was never the same again – but that’s another story.
I remember being so angry that this happened just then – that my body chose that particular night to go haywire. It’s no longer a “why me?”, like it was when I was little, but rather a “why now?” or “why then?”. And perhaps still a little bit why me, but who else should it be? Don’t we all have our crosses to bear? But it’s that same feeling now. WHY NOW. Despite various broken shoulders and foot fractures in the last year, I am a superwoman, who can be a super-student, as long as I have a wheelchair and a box of morphine. I can do it all. I can be it all. Or not.
There is no shame in saying no, or stop, or help. There is no shame in admitting that I can’t absorb information right now — it doesn’t sink in. I can’t read without falling asleep. Instead of fighting tooth and nail to keep up with everyone who has the advantage of being able to go to the lectures, attend the lessons, ask questions, etc, I have to give myself a kiss on the cheek and commend me for having hung in there for so long, despite having felt like hell. And then pull the plug on this semester. I believe that is the best thing for my healing process, both mentally and physically.
I have to accept that it is not all up to me. It’s like that for everyone. I have a chronic illness, and sometimes the illness is going to win the fight. Sometimes it is going to put me on bed-rest, like it has now. This – this is just the disease rearing its ugly head. But it’s a part of me and my journey (that word is used way too much) to wherever I want to go. But it is not my friend.