What am I afraid of? Everything I do not know and the things I do know. When there are things we don’t know or don’t understand they intimidate us, they make us overanalyze and ultimately scare the living shit out of us. That’s my life. For years I’ve been afraid of things I don’t know and have no control over. Even at times when things were placed in front of me, I’d sit and ask myself What will happen? What’s going on? What does this mean? What will become of this, my future?
Last year I did a Chronic Illness Challenge and let everyone on social media into the most vulnerable and insecure parts of my life. Being sick and not having a diagnosis has been really hard not only on myself but my loved ones as well. Although I know I raised awareness about issues that affect millions of people, sometimes I wish never did it. It opened so many unwanted doors to peoples’ “suggestions” and judgments and people invested in my life and my health. Since then people continuously ask me questions that I do not have answers to or take it upon themselves to give me their own forms of diagnosis. It makes me stop and think about what will happen if I never get a diagnosis — will the questions continue? What if when I do get a diagnosis, it doesn’t turn out to be what anyone thinks or thought?
I know that I have limitations, I know my triggers, and I know that if it’s been a while and things have been running smoothly that it means the storm is brewing. Sometimes I throw caution to the wind and try and live a normal 23 year old life; hiking, hanging out with friends in public, go shopping at the mall, etc. I always pay for it days or weeks later.
I can tell when a seizure is coming. I know that if I push myself my legs will give out and Bambi legs will be in full effect. I’m a 23 year old with the mind and body of an 80 year old at times. That scares me. I live and walk through life with caution, constantly weighing the options: “Brandy if you do this, you know you won’t be able to do…” I know if I take a dance class I’ll be paying for it in more ways than one. How do you decide to put your passions aside just to get through an everyday 9-5?
My life has been flipped upside down and I find myself doing everything I can to get back on track, find a new path. I’ve lived so many years in fear and that’s not a way I want to live. I have so many things I want to do in life, when I’m on my deathbed I want to look back and say “damn I lived one hell of a life.” But I know I’ll never get there if I continue caring about what others think or say. I used to be so public about my health problems and when I had bad days, but now I’ll only post if I’m in the hospital to let my family know. I find myself pulling back in and realizing that no matter what is wrong with me, someone will have something to say about it.
If I had cancer someone would give me 5 different stories of “I know someone who…” or, “Have you tried…”. I just have to come to terms with whatever that may be. I have to stop being afraid of what I do not know and accept the things I do. If I knew everything that was going to happen and truly understood everything, how would I grow? I’m ready to blossom into the person I’m meant to be and live the life I’m meant to live. It’s time to take risk, to learn and jump into the world of unknown.