I look in the mirror and I really don't recognise that person looking back at me.
Physically I've changed a lot. I'm currently on medication which makes me put on weight, but not only that, it's caused my face to swell. I have a moon face it's so round, and not like I remember at all.
I look old too. I know I'm no longer young, I'm not stupid enough to think I'll see a young person looking back...but when did I get so old?
I look in the mirror and I wonder who that person is that is looking back at me. She's certainly not the person she was just over a year ago. That person was always on the go, rarely taking time out, rushing around constantly, not just for herself but for everyone. She looks like she couldn't do half the things she used to do.
The day would start early, then there was getting the kids ready for school, the school run, a quick shop, back home to housework. She actually had a cleaning schedule and over the course of the week the house would be thoroughly cleaned. Then, when the days jobs were done she would take time to catch up on e-mails and blogging and social media. All before lunch! Then there was the laundry, picking up the kids, cooking dinner, bathing kids, taking kids to bed. On some days there were times she was picking up the in-laws and taking them to GP or hospital appointments. She never seemed to stop. I said she doesn't do half those things now, well it's probably a lot less.
Occasionally you may find her being wheeled across the school playground to pick up the kids. The other mum's don't seem to recognise her anymore it's been so long, and she looks so different. What happened to her, do they even know?
Occasionally you may find her being wheeled to the local shops. the ones she would frequent daily but now she rarely goes. She would browse the shops and chat with the shopkeepers. It feels so different now.
Mostly she stays at home, safe and warm. Going out can be an effort.
Just over a year ago she would jump in the car and be off to wherever she needed to be, shopping, visiting family and friends, just going out. She rarely drives now, and when she does she needs help to get to the car. She uses her hands to drive rather than her useless legs and feet. It feels so different, so alien.
Just over a year ago seems like a lifetime ago.
Just over a year ago seems like yesterday.
I don't know why this happened to me.
Just over a year ago I was fretting about a big birthday. It came and went and I didn't change, in fact I felt better than ever and was looking forward to the rest of my life. Those little things that worried me so much then seem so trivial now. I worked it out, I'd be here for my kids until they were adults. I had plenty of life in me and all was good. My youngest child was just starting school and I knew I'd be around until he left and probably longer. Life is longer these days, I had so much more to look forward to. All those things I'd not got around to doing I still had time for. I was happy and content.
Now, life is uncertain and it changed in an instant.
It changed one morning when I woke up unwell and ended up in hospital. My body attacked itself for no apparent reason and left me broken and in pieces. No-one knows why or how.
I will never give up hope of getting better. How can I? I have small children to care for, I need to be here for them. Not only that, I need to be well for them, to carry on as normal as possible. I'm not ready to give up the fight yet. I have too much to live for, too much to do.
I will take my drugs and treatments and maybe find something that works for me. I will do what I can to get some life back.
I look in the mirror and I'm unsure of that person looking back at me, who is she, how did she get like that? I look again, closely, and there I see a little glint. A little piece of the old me, the one with spirit, the one with fight, the one that was busy all the time. Yes, she's a little older and a little broken, but underneath I'm sure she's still there.
I don't recognise myself, I've changed so much. Can I possibly find a new me?
I look in the mirror and see hope. There is always hope. There has to be hope. I'm still here after all.