Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Well…. erm… I find it very hard to look into the future, all I see is more of the same. The same struggle to be believed, to access treatment, help and support. The same difficulties on a day-to-day basis. The same pain, sensitivies and hungover/flu-like yukness. I can’t see anything else, just more if the same and that’s if I’m lucky.
There’s also quite a high chance I could be worse, I also would count myself lucky if I didn’t detoriate further or manage to acquire new illnesses to add to my chronic collection. This possibility of being worse not even a little better in five years thoroughly depresses me so I try not to focus on it too much. Or, you know, ever.
I try not to get my hopes up, or even consider the possibility of thinking about the idea of getting my hopes up. But there is the tiniest possibility of being a bit better and also there’s the unlikely, microscopic possibility of some wonderful scientist finding a treatment or a cure within the next five years. But no, I won’t think about it with any amount of seriousness, it’s in the back of my head all the time with the same level of “this could realistically happen” as someone who dreams of winning the lottery. If you play there is a small chance you could win, but it’s so tiny you never take it seriously. You might fantasise about what you would do/buy if you won the lottery but the chances are so low you don’t do it with any seriousness whatsoever. That is how I look at the possibility of improvement or recovery, as something to dream about but in no way (not even on the smallest level) every expect to actually happen. Besides, it would be too painful to think about all the things I’ll likely never be able to have or do.
I was once, (years ago) asked by a friend “if a magic pill appeared and you could take it and be well again would you”. At the time I said yes obvisiously, immediately, no hesitation. Now? Now I’m not so sure. Of course I WANT to be well, I want to be healthy and I want to have the endless opportunities that being well would provide me, but I’d be scared. Scared that if I took that pill my entire world would change suddenly, that everything that has made me me for the latter half of my life would change. I don’t know how to be anything BUT sick anymore, and I really don’t know how that anxious side of me (that’s been there all my life) would handle such a shift. Would the magic tablet cure that too? Or would be end up in a permanent anxiety state. Would the way I act around and raise Wildchild change, would I want to go out more and be home less? Would I be able to work? What would it mean for me and Chris?! Are we even able to be in a relationship as equals where one is not dependent upon the other (I’m almost positive we are but we also never have been either). Would it change too much that I couldn’t cope? Or would it change just the right amount to simply improve my life with just benefits and no draw backs? Because of all of this I don’t consider the pill option too hard, I think I would drive myself crazy. So Ken if you happen to be reading this, the pill would have to be accessible but wait until I’d had some kind of councilling or something first.
What I do know that, in 5 years time (God willing no accidents or further ill health) Wildchild will be 11 (good grief). Me and Chris will have been married for 12 years. There may or may not be new people, more people in our lives, we may or may not have moved house, Chris may or may not have been promoted further and I may or may not have become slightly less sick. Hopefully I won’t have added anymore illnesses to my ever increasing chronic collection, hopefully we will be standing more firmly, financially speaking, on our own two feet than we are now.
But what I DO know for sure is that in 5 years time I will be fighting just as hard, trying just as hard and refusing to let me collection beat me down, same as now. I will still be loving my daughter, husband, family and friends fiercely and overwhelmingly. I’ll likely still have my safe list of doctors and hopefully it’ll grow, I’ll still have it’s friend (affectionally known as the “shit list”) and sadly that’ll probably grow too. I’ll still be raising awareness where I can, hopefully I’ll have more courage and be able to speak out more. There will still be good times, bad times, happy days, sad days, remissions and relapses. But I’ll still take it in my stride and roll with the punches, that’s all I can do. I’ll still be strong, I’ll still fight like a girl and this collection of chronic illnesses will NOT have beaten me!