Saturday, 20 February 2016

A Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Helen,

In 2006, you got married.

All those times you' spend sitting in your room worrying about your future - worrying especially that no one would see past your Cerebral Palsy... well, they did.They do. Although granted, you'll have to wait a while,-  and in the meantime you'll fall in love (or what you thought was love), with the wrong person - at least twice!
Take my advice and don't break your heart over HIM, because he wasn't worth it. 

You'll see him years later (briefly), but you'll see him for exactly what he is -and you'll think, 'yeah, whatever' -even if you do have a momentary...moment!

After surgery you'll struggle, and you'll think (on more than one occasion) about ending your life. There will be no energy whatsoever, and you'll lose pieces of yourself, until you feel like nothing more than a shell. 

You will eat and purposely make yourself sick because you'll feel so tired, empty and scared. It'll feel like you have no control of anything. It will happen again (for brief periods) during your A levels, and after you finish work, - but you will be OK.

In time it  becomes clear that the only person you're hurting is yourself. It isn't the answer, and if you want to feel better you have to take 'one day at a time'. You will get YOURSELF well, and later will consider yourself lucky that you didn't get in any deeper.
As for depression, I'm afraid you are stuck with that. 

Some days will be so dark and lonely, - (that won't change).You'll feel disconnected from the world, but it does get better. You know that now. There will be ways through because there always is. Just hang on!

Be grateful for the people you have around you. Even though it seems like they are a lot of the problem, you will come to realise that they want what's best for you -(even if they go the wrong way about it) and make you feel worse! 

Later, it won't matter so much, -  although there will always be a feeling that you aren't good enough.It isn't something you will just get over. You are still working on that, even now!

The way through is to accept that your life isn't going to be the same as other people's, so it is pointless making comparisons -even though you haven't meant to.

The decision you made (when you were eight) to try and help people understand what disability is like, and to fight for for equality, will become an even bigger part of your life -and you'll come to the conclusion that THAT is your purpose, so please ignore all the times when you feel you don't have one! You do -and you always will.

There will be people coming to you with problems -big ones and small ones.which  you can do your best to help with, but sometimes you'll fail. At least you tried! Having said that, there will be times when you've save people's lives -(even though that is a private thing which won't be talked about). 

Try to feel proud that people come to you for help or understanding, when they are at their worst. That is what you DO!  Not being able to have children of your own will break your heart, and I can't promise that that will ever go away -it hasn't yet! If you did have children you couldn't do what you're doing now, because every small piece of energy you have would be devoted to them. 

Your way through it, (so far anyway), is to keep reminding yourself that raising awareness of disability and fighting for your beloved cause is so much more important. You can use what you CAN do to make up for all the things that you can't. Turn all the negative into positive. Make something good out of all the bad. It helps others -and never lose the belief that you can make a difference, even if it is only a small one. The world can be made better, and you have to help do it.

 Don't underestimate yourself because that's where you make a mistake. Don't let other people define you! Be who you want to be. Following your own path is what you have always done. Know that only you can do it. 

There will be times when you want to give up, and many days when you'll put on a positively Oscar winning performance of being fine, when you're dying inside - but that's what life is, - and you are in control of yours.

Image: Google.


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