How My Illness Changed My Life

A Learning Curve

I haven't been able to work for a while due to my diagnosis six months ago. This is something I am not at all accustomed to, and it has been very hard for me to adjust to an unproductive lifestyle. Once I was an independent woman, up before the sun, picture perfect, and ready to take on the twenty-first century—though for now, this has been stripped away from me and I am currently playing housewife. The days can feel endless sitting alone in this new environment, and sometimes even longer when friends or family grace me with their company. But that's the nature of the illness. 

Leighton, bless him. What a sweetheart he is. We fell in love in the summer of last year. Professional acquaintances who soon became lovers, back when I was fighting fit and ready to conquer the world. I often wonder what he sees in me. Now I'm a depleted and weakened soul, but I have to keep telling myself not to question his love for me. I shall only end up torturing myself into the familiar pit of darkness. It's just so hard being a spiritual person and being so emotionally detached from myself, and in turn, the people around me.

Since he bought the house, he was able to afford to leave his previous job (where I had first greeted him in reception). "Good morning, Mr. Campbell," I would say flashing a professional, ruby red smile at him as he took the lift to the twenty-fifth floor. 

"Good morning," he would return, trying his upmost to maintain composure (Haha, those were the days).

He took two months to make the home improvements he desired. This was a mostly pleasant time, though friends of ours could not fully understand my condition, and they could not grasp that sometimes I was just unhappy and there was nothing to be done about it. I felt guilty most of the time, as I did not want to be the grey cloud hovering over the party, but I had to keep telling myself that that was just how it had to be for now. I maintained false happiness by portraying the hostess with the mostess, ensuring our guests were comfortable at all times, even if this meant I sat on the floor, keeping them fed and watered. This made me feel like I had some sort of purpose and soothed the burns inside.

So Leighton has recently attained himself a new job which, in all honesty, shows great promise, and I'm pleased for him. His savings couldn't pay the mortgage forever, after all. But this leaves me alone in the new house for ten hours a day, and the real question is, what on earth should I do with myself? I wake up, I clean, I do the washing, all mundane and normal tasks. I try to ignore the sensation of being constantly watched from next door. A lot of the time, I sit in silence, and other times the silence is deafening. Each day is just as boring yet unpredictable as the next, and I sit and wait for a miraculous recovery. Nobody really knows the cure. Sure, they recommend therapy and dose you up with tranquilisers, but there is no absolute certain diagnosis and no absolute certain remedy. Heck, this could be my life from now on, or I could be back to normal in a day or two.

I hate the unknown and I absolutely detest not being in control of my own life, and I despise being told I have to be patient when I feel I am being judged by all who stumble across me. I'm the sort of person that is aiming for gold before I've even seen silver, and reaching for the stars before I have even learned to jump. Patience isn't my greatest skill. A modern-day female Icarus, you might say. 

I did well at school. I wasn't top of the year, but I wasn't far from it. I suffered severe social anxiety in sixth form and scraped through my A levels with a B and a C. B.C; Before Christ. Without Christ. Baptised a Catholic at two months old and a full Catholic education, and yet I suffered in silence. A very good friend of mine in the religious studies department advised me to pray. I admired her greatly, but I didn't have the heart to tell her that prayer didn't work for me. Now I'm in love with an atheist and maintain a spiritual outlook on life, but not necessarily religious. In all honesty, despite the depression, I am very happy with my life—and grateful. It's hard for me to impress this upon people when I am always so melancholy lately. I trust they sense my gratitude, and there's faith at its finest. 

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