So far I’ve blogged about me, me, me. As though all the positive changes in my life have been down to me, working alone. Yes, I work hard, I’ve learned, I’ve adapted, I’ve made sacrifices. But that’s only (not even?) half the story.
Where I’ve been incredibly fortunate, and what has made the single biggest difference in turning the darkness in my life into light, has been people who aren’t me.
I’m not going to do a shout-out to everyone I know (you’ve all helped me enormously, know that), but from the very early days of my health crisis, I knew I could rely on family, friends and colleagues to be there. Sure I felt isolated by my pain and by finding it so hard to articulate what was happening in my body, but deep down I knew I had people who loved me. Specific examples have stayed with me: my husband’s simple, unquestioning acceptance of what I was feeling; my parents willingness to take me in and care for me so my husband could go to work; a colleague crying with me; the friend who texted me with words of love and support just when I needed them most (she saved my life, that girl).
And those who weren’t there at the beginning, who didn’t know me BEFORE. My daughter, first and foremost, who (apart from bringing such light and love into my life) taught me that, despite everything, my body that lets me down in every other possible way could still create life. The friends I found in hospital who really GET IT; the friend, who having never even heard of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome before meeting me, worked with me to raise funds for EDS UK; the friend I made at the library when we bonded over chronic illness, parenthood and polka dots; those who put their names on a letter to the local council about disabled access; those who take my daughter out for me when I’m too ill and exhausted to cope; the friend who spends an hour trying to leave because we’ve just got so much to say to one another and the lovely lady who took me in and gave me cake when I scattily locked myself out on my birthday.
These are the people without whom I would not be the me I am today. Wow. I’m the luckiest person I know.