When I was young(er – I refuse to accept my age is creeping upwards), I always had plans for my future. I knew I would have multiple triumphs in my life; it was a knowledge, not a hope. I knew that I would achieve – not in an arrogant way, just that I had to, to get to where I was going.
And then the world flipped upside down and I became ill.
Suddenly the triumphs I ‘knew’ would happen, became impossible.
Instead, my triumphs became the things I never considered things at all. Managing to send a text. Getting to the toilet alone. Waiting until I sat down before falling asleep. Sitting up by myself. Only sleeping for two whole days after doing any of these.
My reality totally changed when my body and mind collapsed. I went from studying, rowing, dancing, singing, reading, socializing and working, to…. nothing. That’s certainly how it felt. And so I had nothing to build on, which, on reflection, became the greatest thing. I had to restart my life. I had to begin again. I had to learn how to walk again properly, and how to walk with a stick and crutches. I had to learn how to talk properly (see Brain Fog) and think again properly, and learn to accept my new brain function. I had to make a tiny little triumphs every single day, doing things people wouldn’t consider to be things at all in order to keep moving forward. I had to grieve my old life and embrace my new one.
Doing that is my greatest triumph of all.