As an elementary school kid, I never paid much attention to my difference from other kids. Sure, I have Cerebral Palsy and used a wheelchair most of the time but, I was never treated much differently. As a human my tendency is to remember the negative, (including my tantrum at 5 years old as I didn’t get the Christmas gift I so wanted in ’93.) My point being, I don’t forget pain, PEOPLE don’t, when it matters.
Then, I turned 11 and grew. It became harder to do things with me both socially, and for day to day care. No longer a small kid in a cute wheelchair who wore cute dresses or shirts with dancing teddy-bear ballerinas. Sweat-pants became common and my movement decreased, as happens when you don’t visit friends outside of school. At school, adults dreaded liability and my school activities decreased. (I had done the best push-up in my PE class in second grade. Alas!)
So, is it a surprise that, after 5 years of being labelled “Different,” I began to own my label. And a lot of the labels I had been given as far back as my memory goes, too? I became weird beyond my inherited norm. I became severely Anorexic before my 17th birthday. Food wasn’t scary, food was symbolic and the meaning scared the F*&# outta me.
By age 29 I’d had several, “There is no way you should be alive” days. Psychosis was my thought pattern. Fear was my world, I was afraid of myself and long prior had lost my identity to my eating disorder. I was obsessed with routine, to the minute. (I can’t give the whole story, what would I put in the SickyBeat book?)
After 13 years of fear and self-isolation, I finally realized that fear had taken my life, if I was going to be afraid constantly, and without reason what was the point? Which leads me to my final questions for you. Is life without fear possible? Is it worth it?