A year of sulking, but still here.
There is a variation of this question, “when did your life change?” in many Twitter question threads. And no matter how many times I come across it, I always try to answer, and my friends must have seen the same answer I always give: “When I got diagnosed with a heart disease.”
There is this thing living with a chronic illness that leaves you disabled in certain areas does to you, to your body, to your mind. It doesn’t seem to leave space for you to take a breath, to be free of it even for a while. You’re reminded every day that this is your cross to bear, and no matter how hard you try, you always have it at the back of your mind that this isn’t leaving anytime soon. That it might not ever leave.
Some people are strong enough to bear the truth once it hits them; others, not so much. People like us in the other category are not strong enough. However, we try to put up a front, to act strong; but we break down every time because this cross is heavy to bear. What’s worse? No one understands you. You are young, after all, and they believe young people shouldn’t be living with a heart condition, so if they do not gaslight you, they will hold your hands and try to preach to you. “You are living in sin dear, maybe that’s why this is happening to you.”
It’s been a year since my diagnosis; on the 19th of Jul 2020, and in old Chisom fashion, I am writing something because I believe it will make me feel better. I am writing this because last week I spent two days in the hospital while pretending that everything was going well with me. I am writing this because maybe, I won’t feel sad once I click on the Publish button. But it’s been a year of me feeling like shit even though everything doesn’t feel like shit.
A few weeks ago, I conversed with a friend and told him how I felt bad that things weren’t working fast. When he asked, “why do you feel this way?” I thought of something clever to say, and a lie sprung up. But the truth is that sometimes I feel like my time is running up. In just a month, I have read stories of people dying after a heart attack. I have forced myself to stay away from certain topics because they are all triggering. But still, this feeling of my time running up always creeps up on me. So why isn’t everything working out fast? What if it all ends immediately?
I know I am just overthinking things and that many people have been living with the same condition as me for years, but I can’t help myself. I can’t stop these thoughts. And what is worse? I know that I am stuck with it for a long time.
Today though, I will try and spend time alone, but if that doesn't work and feels depressing, I will be with my friends. I will try not to think so much of this thing that’s eating me up and be happy. Maybe happiness is the escape I need.