All I’ve really, REALLY wanted for the last six years has been a bit of normality; a bit of the Real Life that I’d lived for 21 years but I couldn’t be a proper part of anymore because even leaving the house for an hour would have a chain reaction on my health and write off the rest of the week or month. I wanted to do normal things like watch television without it setting off the nausea and sensory overload and therefore leaving me bedridden again. I wanted to be able to see my friends and my cousins and my siblings whenever there was a get-together. I wanted fun. I wanted independence. I wanted spontaneity. But mostly I just wanted to be normal, to be like those unrestricted healthy folk, and to be like the girl I was for 21 years.
Last night I got to do one of the most normal things of all; celebrate my birthday at a restaurant with some of the most important people in my little world. And it was masterminded by a man who has taught me to love myself at a time when I felt the least loveable. A man who chose me. A man who’s given me so much of the normality I craved, only to find out that what we have together isn’t normal at all; that normal doesn’t do it justice. He told me we were going out for an early-birthday meal but when we got in the taxi I learnt that a ‘couple’ of my friends would be there to join us. I’d had NO idea. And I consider myself to be quite hard to surprise!
The people around that table will all know that that’s a big deal for me and that it means so much. But it all means more than I can put into words.
I have a skewed impression of myself and my self worth now. It wasn’t only my health that I lost back in 2010. But with the help of the people round that table, and more besides, I am learning that the core of me is still the same. And I’m still worth giving up a Saturday night for, worth going to all that effort for, still worthy of friendship and love.
It wasn’t just a surprise meal out, it was all I’ve really wanted for the past 6 years.