Have you ever reached a point in your life where you realise that the vast majority of your actions from your youth were from the effect of something? Like a drug? See, that’s where I’m at right now.
I feel robbed, angry, hurt and broken. The tears, they can’t stop coming and the guilt, the questions, they’ve hit me like a shit storm.
The past 22 years of my life – was it real?! Was it even me?! Or was it the side effects from the drugs?
Being diagnosed with a brain tumour when you’re 12 ain’t no walk in the park. I was young and clueless, I didn’t want to know – truth be told, the day I found out, I just wanted to die – no matter how many times I was reassured that it was benign. I didn’t want to talk and I didn’t want to understand. That rationality of normality evaporated within a heartbeat.
Growing up was difficult – I felt like I was living with a dirty little secret, a troll in my head (remember the trolls, back in the day?), like that….
If it slipped out, would my friends stay my friends because they felt sorry for me? Or because they genuinely cared? I’ll never know because most of my childhood friends, I’m no longer in touch with.
I remember when I was about 15/16, we went on a trip to Mauritius with our closest family friends. I wanted to go scuba diving and had to declare any medical conditions. I remember trying to whisper it because I was so ashamed of myself. I also remember seeing the look on my friends face, the shock. And the worry from her mother when she spoke to mine about it. It was hard. I didn’t want anyone to be sad for me. Things were ok, I was on drugs that suppressed it. A dopamine.
Impulsive and compulsive. See, only a few people tend to experience these effects – and I’ve always been FAR from textbook so sadly, or not so sadly (we have to look at the bright side) I was one of them.
I went through a string of idiot boyfriends. I can put my hands up and say #metoo, I can say I saw things I’m not ready to repeat, I spent a SHIT load of money, I lost friendships, I lost my youth, I lost family, but more importantly, I lost myself… and for what?! A drug. Yes, a flippin’ drug. See, I don’t even know what was the ‘real’ me and what the side effect was?! All I know is, it’s done now – 22 years. Just like that. I can’t go back and rewind. It’s all a blur. None of us knew the signs, none of us knew this was the medication. Not even the doctors, because these drugs, they hadn’t been around long enough and really, it wasn’t like I was psychotic… I just wasn’t myself…
I have so much more to say – about all the pain killers, those effects, the surgery etc and maybe I’ll get to a point where I can talk about it more but I think this is enough to process for one day. See, whilst the last 22 years were just, je ne sais quoi, but it hit me today that I am one of the lucky ones.
In the times I was lost, I managed to find my way back. And now, I repeat again… I am lucky. So lucky!! I have such a support network around me from my beautiful family and friends. We really do have to count our blessings.
I still have a long road ahead and there’s options, there’s always options. I’m not quite sure what awaits in the future (we’ve spoken about another surgery, radiotherapy, laser… ) but I’d love another child, and that’s our priority. However, I know it’s not easy and in order to get there it means trying more of these drugs (which can have the same effects as before) and yes, it’s bloody scary but at least this time – we will all be more prepared…