As hard as I find it to remember, life is not a race.
It’s not that I want to be further ahead than other people, I just want to be where I believe I should if things were in my control. I would have graduated a couple of years ago, I’d have maybe done a masters, but I’d be working now. I’d be having a day starting off being woken up by an alarm clock, going off to work, coming home, cooking dinner and going to bed. However, things healthy people moan about and may see as ‘mundane’, such as the early mornings, the daily commute, the day at work etc, are the things I’d do anything to be doing as that would mean ‘normality’.
My day starts by being woken up by pain, my stoma bag needing emptying, or by my carer with my meds. I then spend my days with no purpose; being unwell, entirely fatigued, going back and forth across London to hospital appointments, having procedures done, surgeries, setting up my feed and doing my medications etc. I’m desperate to have finished uni, but instead I sit at home being happy seeing all my other friends graduate whom I’m elated for, but inside I’m utterly broken that I’m not in the same position. People tell me getting a degree isn’t everything, that I can go to places other than Cambridge, and whilst I know they mean well, I want to complete my degree at Cambridge, it’s just unfair that my health is preventing me from doing so. It was my dream to get to Cambridge, so why won’t my body let me live it?
If I had graduated now and was working, I could be looking at moving out, moving on with my life like I should be… I’m 23 years old and I feel like I’m a prisoner to my medical conditions. Of course just because I see other people buying their first properties it doesn’t mean I have to, but I should be in the position to if I wanted to. I’m so pleased for those getting married, having children etc but I feel so behind where I should be and where I want to be.
The thing is, me not being where I’d like to be because of my health doesn’t just impact me, and I think that’s even worse. Firstly, my ill health means that I have to rely on my parents more than I should have to, and so their freedom is reduced and their lives impacted by having to factor in whether or not I’m being cared for before they’re able to do anything. Ollie and I would love to be spending more time together, but even if we wanted to we can’t even think about buying a place together until I’m in more of a stable position… I hate this so much.
I don’t want people to think that they have to do things at a certain age; if you want to go to university at 30, there’s nothing wrong with that, if you want children later in life, that’s fine, it’s just that that isn’t what I want to do and the lack of control I have in my life is something I find extremely hard to accept.
Life’s not a race, but I definitely feel like I’m losing at the moment.