On the darkest of days, when my life felt like it had entirely disappeared and I was a shell of a person, it was near-on impossible for me to see that it wouldn’t be like that forever. I remember a specialist telling me that maybe I needed to reconcile that I now had a disability and that I needed to adjust my expectations of what my life would look like now.
I said No.
I refused. I have never held pity parties for long, they serve nothing. I took time to grieve, process and be kinder to myself. But if ever there was a time and a place for stoicism, this was a prime example.
This was not unfamiliar territory. I have been through everything there is to go through with endometriosis, I have had the socks knocked out of me before. This time, it needed clinical eyes on it, a framing that could see my symptoms as problems to be solved, rather than ones to simply surrender to. Of course, problem solving doesn’t fix many things with Long Covid, and a lot of money later I worked out that I needed to give in a certain amount.
I accepted that healing was needed and time would be the essential ingredient in that recovery. Keeping my mind from giving up was the battle. The position I took was that I had to believe my life could be fully lived again. End of story. I decided that I was coming back from this, that I would once again have energy to expend. I knew that if I had let that little voice in my head take the reins, it would be so much more challenging to come back from that abysmal place that I was in.
I chose Yes.
Without gaslighting myself ever, I came to the conclusion that this too shall pass. I’ve done it before and I can do it again. When glandular fever as a teenager robbed me of my school years and forced me on a different path, I forged a new one. I taught myself how to show up, even without school qualifications and the ‘usual’ university journey. By the time I was 20 years old, I had started my first business – that was a roaring success and shaped my life ever since.
Arguably, my life is better for having had that experience. If it weren’t for those dark days, which took things from me that I had thought were a given, I wouldn’t have been forced to find other ways. And that’s made me who I am today.
I accepted the path. I adapted my journey.
Here’s a little video I recorded today for all the Long Covidians out there in Aotearoa who are in their dark days, unsure if they’ll get better. They can, I believe they will. Whatever you believe in, believe in the possibility. Keep your faith.