One morning, very early in the year 2017, I woke up feeling great. Me, Jessie, felt in the very marrow of the deepest bones of my body, that my health woes were over. Yes. It was time to wave those tumultuous Lupus Cerebritis days good bye. As I awoke to this new-found sense of clarity one thing became obvious. This great new feeling was in fact not new to me. What I was feeling was simply the clear-minded love of life that I had been born with.

That fresh feeling

I have always had a love for life that encourages me to never let a moment pass by in waste, or in which I have not tried to fill with purpose of some kind. Never being one to sit still, even watching TV irked me unless I was also knitting, doing a jigsaw puzzle or crossword. Yet, this past half a decade has seen me stagnating internally. It may have appeared that I was taking my life in great strides considering the situation, but I was not fulfilled emotionally nor greatly stimulated mentally.

My retreat

At a time when my friends and other young people of my age were starting to make big life decisions, changes or investments, I was getting used to my parents visiting and staying so often it felt as though we lived together. I was learning to live with my parents like I had as a child, taking part on shopping, household chores. I slept and relaxed a lot more, admittedly I took the weak end of the cleaning stick. It had been feeling in my mind over the last few years that I had retreated somehow, in some ways, to be more like a younger young person. This was perhaps, due to my necessary reliance on them and their help. I allowed them and asked them to make decisions for me when needed, they planned things when I asked and took care of me when I could not. They simply did what any caring parent does for their unwell child. And I had become lax in my responsibilities, not without cause but it happened nevertheless. The most important thing I left behind was my mental strength for, if you thought I was holding everything together well, I was not. I had only locked the ability to feel everything as it happened away. It was in this way I was able to cope with and manage my situation.

Growing Up

From the moment I awoke, earlier this year, I knew it was time to make a change. Not just in how I do things each day, but in how I live. It was up to me to start making my decisions, planning my own schedules, attending meetings myself and organise my money. These sound like simple things, but I was recovering my health and my mind. I had lost so much confidence in my ability to do things, in my character and appeal to babes and beaus. I felt inadequate to hold conversations with people, thinking that the only thing ‘about me’ was my recent illness. I felt I had nothing to give and was a fleck drifting weightless and unnoticed in life. I could see I had to grow up and regain my confidence, but I was not sure how to do it. How was I to take my newly reacquired zeal for life and use it when I was so unstable in my confidence to be in the world?

The beginning of the end

I will not lessen the pain of people’s losses by claiming I had too close of an acquaintance with some, but by the middle of the year I could count a small handful of family and close acquaintances passing away. Some were a complete shock and others were a long time coming. Compound on to this the stresses of study and the loneliness of a semester with no one of familiarity in my classes and my pain grew evermore. It was hard. One the day of the last exam, and oral presentation, I had an appointment with my GP. Only my GP was away on leave and had left me in the hands of someone who she trusted was appropriately suited to see me, my condition and my character. I was going in to apply for a Mental Health Plan….

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