They say we are born into this world alone. Perhaps that what makes the process of being born one of the most vulnerable (and I’m guessing traumatic) times of our lives. From that moment onwards we rely on the arms that we find ourselves in to raise us until we figure out how to deal with the complexities of being human. Inevitably at some point, those arms let go, and we learn to hold hands instead, through everything life throws at us. But the point to this is that when we are alone, our vulnerability returns. We are not meant to walk through this world with no other soul to help carry the weight of whatever is handed to us.
I was saved from the malfunctioning parts of my body by doctors and nurses. But nobody thought to save the person behind the near death experiences. Nobody thought to talk over the thoughts that seeped through the cracks in the breaking shell of who I was. Until one person walked into the room who was so persistent that he stole my trust. I hated it, until I finally took a leap of faith and didn’t fall. And then I still hated the fact that I trusted someone, it scared me, and I had promised myself that I would never trust again so I was ashamed of myself. But I did trust. Slowly. And if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here now. I was saved from myself over and over again by the words of the one person I could talk to (actually, there were at one point two uni parents, but anyway…). And suddenly there was somebody there through every step. The relief was like a drug. And I let myself depend. I. Let. Myself. Trust.
Which meant that inevitably, I allowed myself to be let down. There is nobody there like that voice once was. People have lives, and uni mum faded away to get on with life, which I can’t resent her for. She has her own stuff to deal with and I refuse to bother her on top of that. Today I finally gave up on the person who has been keeping me alive. I gave up on the person who refused to give up on me. And at first cutting away the part that caused me pain was empowering. But now I remember how difficult it is to deal with things with nobody to offload at. Now… Now I am as I was born – alone and raw and reeling and completely overwhelmed by the world.
I didn’t want to trust. And right now I want all of it back. People fade. People walk away. They stop talking as often as they used to until they just stop talking at all. I knew that. I expected that. I just thought… I thought maybe this time I might matter enough for that not to happen. The things people don’t say mean so much more than the words that come out of their mouths.
I could tell them how unwell I am today. I could tell them how close to calling an ambulance I came. I could tell them that the long thought process I went through eventually ended up with me deciding that nothing mattered in that moment. I could say that I woke up on the floor 50 minutes later feeling completely lousy, which was completely not the plan. I could tell them that I got right back up off of the floor and tried to revise histology until I became too unwell even to eat. But I won’t. Those words will only hurt those who care about me, they would make my healthcare team phone me every hour and try a million different tactics to try and persuade me to go into hospital, and the one person who could talk me into going to hospital, who I would at one point have trusted with those words… Well. They don’t even have any confirmation that I’ve been alive at any point in the last couple of weeks, and last time they saw me I was about to pass out… So there is no longer any hope as far as that is concerned.
I will fight with my body every minute of every day. I will fight with my thoughts. I will try. But it hurts. And I’m going to lose. It’s like the charge of the light brigade, but I don’t even have a weapon. One day I will find those arms that will scoop me up out of the cold and shelter me from it all. One day I will find a hand to hold that won’t let go when I need it the most. I’m just scared that day doesn’t exist. I’m scared the arms will belong to coffin bearers and the hand will belong to death.
Until that point, all that I have left of myself will be given to those that matter; because I know what it is like to need someone and find nobody there, I know what it is like to walk through difficult times alone and I won’t let my friends go through that. I don’t care that I’ve been overlooked. When I figure out how, I will be there until I am no longer here. And I’m sorry that I haven’t been. I am so, so unwell, but I will hold the hands that once held mine. And the only person I will trust will be myself. It’s an awful situation to put yourself in, but it just feels safer right now.
I just want someone, anyone, to be there. I want my family. I just want somebody to tell me this is going to be ok even though right now it is so far from it.
I am having a moment. Given the situation, I think that is allowed.