NHBPM prompt for day 5: Five things. Life-changing things. In my made-for-tv-movie kinda life.
Seriously, how on EARTH would I chose merely five?!?!
First thought immediately goes to the fact that I have five children. Hmm. Too obvious. This is the chaos of my reality!!
1. One of the TSN turning points in my young adulthood of 20 years old was when my father was posted from here in Ottawa, to Anchorage, Alaska. My parents went. I remained behind. I often wonder where I would be today, had I gone. I fell into a lifestyle of rebellion and crazy-assed ideas. I chose wrong. I put my academics in jeopardy, I harboured anger and resentment for everything and anything that went wrong. I quit my studies.
So? So fast-forward three years and I traversed 6-8 buses a day with my little son to and from daycare to attend a private collage to get myself off “the system” of social services. Having my second son a month before the completion of my diploma, I went back to school a mere three weeks after he was born to finish AND commence a second program. Two years, two programs, both with Honours. Landed my first job at a law firm before I was finished the second…they had to wait for me ;o
Having found a job field I absolutely LOVED and had no idea even existed when I left university, I was also compelled to also complete an Associate Degree from the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario. Two years, while working full time, birthing my daughter in the midst of the program…again, with Honours.
2. The Night. June 17th, 1994. My birthday. The night O.J. Simpson ran from police. I struggled for my body and my life under a blade of steel. I am a survivor.
I am currently in the throes of participating in a research study whose purpose is to identify if, perhaps, there is a correlation between PTSD and the onset of chronic illness (ie, as a “trigger” for such autoimmune diseases like Lupus). I still bear that scar. I didn’t have it removed. Warrior marks.
3. Becoming a mother. Obvious. It changes your perception on life. You suddenly become mortal in that one moment where your child takes that first breath. It’s effect, and the four times thereafter, has not always been a grateful one, for me…I have pushed and endured and persevered through their growth and necessities, that I have, admittedly, grossly neglected the needs of my own. Now I struggle to escape the confines of habit and make the time to cater to the needs of my own emotional, spiritual and physical needs. Now I struggle to stay alive. It’s hard. And uncomfortable. And I don’t much care for it.
4. September, 2010. A chance trip to the ER for chest pains that weren’t quite anxiety, and certainly nothing more serious…a chance encounter with a physician who listened to some key points I choked out between tears…a chance meeting with said physician whose relative (of whatever kind) had been diagnosed with something called “systemic lupus erythematosus”…or, Lupus. He knew what to check, he knew what to ask, he knew what to listen to…in November, a week after my engagement, my diagnosis was confirmed. I’ll post on that later, though…suffice it to say…LIFE. CHANGING.
[enter the commencement of health activism, stage left]
5. November 1, 2011. My marriage to the most caring, gentle and supportive man. Obvious? Perhaps…but likely not for the reasons one might think. I still cry…I still cry because it is a relief. It’s a relief that I have the legal protection of assets and financials. It’s a relief that someone doesn’t think I’m all that crazy…that there is something more than the tears that stream down my cheeks as I lay in his arms in the throes of excruciating pain. It’s a relief to know that someone loves my quirks and strengths SO much, that he’d sacrifice his own time and energy to keep his new family supported through all that this chaos of my reality has to offer…
Those are only five. But each and every one of them has made me the person that types here before you. It’s made me strong, when I didn’t know I could be strong. It’s made me fight for something much more important than my own knowledge and information…I fight for those who can’t. I fight to release the stigma of isolation by friends who no longer care to understand.
“When someone says ‘You’ve changed.” it means you’ve stopped living life their way…” ~unknown
And, who knows…maybe nothing about any of the above actually ever “changed” me…
…maybe…it merely made me be the me I was supposed to be from the beginning. 😮