I feel like there is so much I wish I could do with my life if I had the time, energy and resources. (Time, energy and resources that have been consumed by illness.)
I say things to myself sometimes like, illness made me who I am. Illness taught me a lot of valuable lessons. I’m proud of the knowledge I have now. But in reality, it all makes me depressed, as much as those may sound like positive statements, I don’t feel especially great about them.
I’d rather be saying something like, that failed relationship taught me a lot and it had both its ups and downs.
Or, that trip to Europe had its mishaps but there was both beauty and failure during it.
Instead, I just have a lot of dry, empty years of life that were painful, numb, or missing. And everything I’ve gained from it is pretty dry albeit exciting in a dry way. Exciting the way an encyclopedia is exciting, without the pretty pictures.
Which, really, might be some people’s cup of tea. It just isn’t mine. It’s not my identity. It’s not who I’d be or how I’d live if I had the choice.
Who would I be without illness?
Well, this is all hypothetical. I feel that without illness, I’d still have responsibilities and social pressures holding me back from being who I really want to be, realistically. So let’s keep it hypothetical.
But let’s start with hair. I’d have a lot of fun with my hair.
And I’d go somewhere warm on occasion. I’d have the energy and I’d afford to.
I wouldn’t hold onto anything that made me feel bogged down, including friends. I’d have friends that brought out the free spirit in me or, if I had no one like that, I wouldn’t hang out with any friends at all. I’d let myself be my only influence so that people wouldn’t bring me down. Because…that stuff makes me feel depressed. That’s just how I am. (Or is that a sign that something’s wrong with me? Either way, I don’t care. I just want to be me. It’s the only way I know to find something worth living for.)
I’d go to Europe, either temporarily and permanently. Even though, right now, the thought of travel seems exhausting, I can imagine that without illness it would be stress-free and enjoyable. Fun.
I wouldn’t have to worry so much about cold, callous people anymore because I wouldn’t need them.
I would surround myself with beauty and cleanliness.
I wouldn’t be desperate.
I could be myself, uncensored, in public. (Illness has taught me that it’s not okay to be honest about what you feel, what you believe in, or what is going on in your life.) I wouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes or saying the wrong thing. It would be okay if I did, not the end of the world.
I would avoid the people who make me feel miserable or who I clash with. I would minimize my time with them and only spend time around people who are pleasant. I would stick with my clan, my people. People who understand me and share similar values and enjoy life in the same way as I do.
I would feel free to move, to breath. I would be able to do the things I need to do to get where I want to be without it hurting too much.
I would forget about all the people who hurt me or were cold-hearted to me as if they never existed. I would quit hearing their unpleasant voices and the unpleasant memories with them.
I would be free. Free of everything that shackles me. Free of people that drag me down. Free of environments that I feel chained to. Free to move. Free to live. No regret. I could pursue beauty and happiness without needing to drag an unpleasant person to help me get there.