Sunday, November 6, 2016

Embarking on New Territory: But as My Book Says, It's Beautiful

As many of you know, I've finally taken my friends' advice and done something productive with it. I am attempting to write a book. I thought about this long and hard before I started. Am I emotionally ready? Is this going to make me feel awful reliving all of this again. And on and on and on with question after question after question. And you know what? I answered a total of zero of them.  I'm doing what I first learned from my dear dear friend Robin 10 years ago, and that was to just jump in.  Sometimes you never know until you do and it could end up being the best thing you've ever done.

I went back and read all of my mom's copious notes on when I was the sickest, and I will admit I stopped many times. I said, "Maybe you're not ready to do this." But then I heard Robin's voice in my ear; her crackly, high, ever so sweet voice. Telling me to go for it, that even though she wasn't with me physically she was with me in my heart, and she would help me through it. And I started writing and I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. And suddenly two months later I was on page 160. I read it all over again, and thought to myself, how do I remember all of this in such detail? I remember what my doctor's nurse said to me word for word after my first shunt tap, I remember who my very first nurse was at U of C, I know who came to my graduation party at U of C. I remembered everything. And when I felt like I had the shell of the book done, I just sat there literally in awe, of what I had just done. What I had remembered, when I had tried for the past ten years to block it out in any way I possibly could.

As I was writing this, when I got about 20 pages into it, I stopped and thought to myself, how can this be a book? All I'm writing is tragedy after tragedy after tragedy. This doesn't even read like a book. How can I do this? But something told me to just keep going, to not worry about it right now, just to keep writing. I was finally happy that my work got rid of my Youtube privileges (You know all for "Professional reasons") lol. Because I was working on this all day rather than watching pointless videos. I thought to myself a lot while writing this book. Are people going to be able to relate to what I've been through? Are people ever going to "get it". And then suddenly I realized it doesn't matter; that they might not understand it, but that's OK. If they have empathy in their hearts they can just read it and say Wow that was a great book. Or not lol.

Being sick has taught me so much more than I could have ever learned on my own. It has allowed me to see things with a different set of eyes. A more compassionate, empathetic set of eyes. And even though I'm in pain every second of every day, I can say now, that this really has turned into something beautiful. I've made friends I never thought I would have made, done things I never would have done. And I have being "sick" to thank for every single thing I've done. Every feeling I've felt for the past 12 years. I don't know how my life would have gone if I hadn't gotten sick. But I can definitely say with no doubt say it's been the scariest, darkest most beautiful walk I've ever been on.

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