One morning, i'm waking up to pink skies at Antarctica, then i'm bed-ridden staring at my four walls feeling like a prisoner in my own body.
I grew up feeling like in order to be loved I needed to achieve, and if I wasn't then there was no value to my life. When I became sick my symptoms would mimic those of a Brain Tumour, Parkinson's Disease, MS and Epilepsy. You'd think with such severe symptoms that I would be taken seriously, no! A clear MRI scan and blood tests mean that you're going to have to fend for yourself. If you are part of the 1% that has a diagnosis given straight away then well done, but the majority of us will feel unheard.
I felt a lot of guilt for not feeling like myself, the go-getter, risk-taker and ambitious Shehla. I became the one who fell on the floor randomly, who was bed-ridden and could not see the light.
I was told to smile, ignore the pain and simply get on with life. A life I no longer felt I had. Some days I would hope I would no longer be on the planet because there was nothing left in me. For months I felt like I lived the same pain, day, conversations and hurt. I fell into self-piety, depression and experienced daily panic attacks. Living with a debilitating condition like FND (Functional Neurological Disorder) and chronic conditions such as M.E. & Fibromyalgia felt like they stripped me off my independence. My hobbies involved, travelling, hiking mountains, walking everywhere, flying my drone, photography and exercising.
I tried to fight these illnesses by ignoring them as every 'specialist' I came across had told me to. It was the wrong thing to do and made me worse. To this day I can't watch people run, especially marathons, because it was something I haven't managed to achieve again. I would travel every year, my longest trip was for 5 months and for a while all I did was travel to A&E and appointments. Nearly a year after diagnosis I accepted my life had changed. I began to explore and discover new ways of living, pacing and accepting no one was coming to save me.
What can I say, is my life perfect? No. Will it ever be? Most likely, no. But I have learned to accept that my life is different. I may have to lead this path solo, but it doesn't mean I can't be content with what I have and what I am working towards. I would spend the majority of my time outdoors, now I have to find new hobbies that keep me going. It's also the reason why I choose to work for myself, as I know explaining being 'ill' to others just drains me.
I hope one day I can make it to where I was before, but if not then I guess there is still a bit of acceptance to go.
Written by: Shehla