Behind That Smile
I thought I would start this year with a fairly personal post… I know I’ve already done that in a way with Hello 2017 but this time I’m going to be really quite honest, not just with you, but with myself as well.
I’m not perfect.
It’s obvious, and very true, but I still feel like it needs to be said. So many of my friends think that I have my life all together, that I’m so organised and that I know exactly who I am, what I want and what I need to do to get there. They look at me and think I’ve got it all sorted. And to an extent, they’re right. I’ve always been the one who’s known exactly what she wants to be when I’m older, exactly what she wants to do with her life. Until I got glandular fever, and after that everything changed. My life took turns that I never expected, and changed my life in ways I’d never imagined, some good, some bad. For example, I never expected to meet the love of my life at just 17, but I have. But I also didn’t expect to only be in my second year of Uni at 21 – I’d expected to have graduated last year.
And all of that is okay, I’ve accepted all of that, and honestly, I’m pretty happy about the way things have turned out. If they hadn’t happened like this, I would never have met the absolute best friends a girl could want. I wouldn’t have met Angus, and I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am today.
But I wanted you all to know, I haven’t got it all together. Honestly? I have NO IDEA what I’m going to do when I finish Uni. It worries me that I have an illness which means that I struggle to manage 10 hours a week at Uni. I’ve always wanted to be teacher, and it upsets me that I’m no longer going to be able to do that. It worries me that if I can’t work properly, that I’m not going to be able to earn enough money to live on my own without a student loan or my parents help. Over the next couple of years, I’m going to be spending a lot of time trying to think about all of these, and think of solutions to prepare for life after University.
That is what is going on behind that smile.
That is what is going through my mind when I look like I have it all together.
What I really hope is that, by writing this post, it not only helps people to understand and appreciate what it is like to live with a chronic illness, to know that life is not going to turn out like you’d hoped, but also to help those of you who do have a chronic illness, and for you to know that you are not alone in this. There are so many of us who have no idea what the future is going to hold – will I get worse, will I get better, will I stay exactly the same? These are questions that all of us have, almost every day of our lives. But know that everything will turn out alright in the end.
I try not to worry about it too much, I could spend a lot of time and energy going over it all in my head and getting stressed about it – it’s in my nature! And being the perfectionist type, as many of you with ME/CFS will be, it is easy to get upset about things not going to plan. But I just take a big step back, and hope that it will be ok.
I put on a big smile, and get on with my life, focusing on the present moment, working towards what I hope one day will be a future that I am happy with.