Looking back at my Facebook has made me realise how different things are now – for the better mostly- not that things are perfect or easy now or anything- but my head is a lot less messed up.
So this- this is a letter to me. Its what I would say to myself If I could go back to my very first ‘big black out event’ – 8th August 2012.
This is you in 2016-
I’m you. But in the future. Sorry to disappoint you – you weren’t expecting me to be an inconsiderate cripple – I know.
Its the 8th August 2012, which means today you had a scary day.
You passed out- lost consciousness. Boom. Gone.
You also got mugged. your cousins cards got taken from you whilst out for the count on the pavement.
I know it was so scary, and humiliating. I know how upset you were that your brand new jeans were ripped at the bum bit (thats nothing by the way, you just wait until 2015/16!).
Mum said to you today that it was just the heat and said you should’ve made sure you had eaten and drunk plenty! even though you were sure you had done so!!!
Now, listen to me and listen good. WHAT IS THIS!
WASH YOUR BLOODY HAIR WHILST YOU STILL CAN YOU NUMPTY BECAUSE IT LOOKS GREASY AND YOU REALLY DO LOOK LIKE HEATHER TROT WITH THAT BLOODY FRINGE! (unfortunately its not until 2015 that you finally get it cut in a way that suits you!)
The coming months are going to be scary. Things are going to start to happen that you dont expect to happen. Tests will be done. Your health will slowly deterioate.
But you’ll be able to cope with it – I promise.
Your school won’t treat you or mum very well. A LOT of tears will be shed.
There will be secrets. Mum will keep things from you. You’ll get mad. But I promise that that Anger will go. You’ll realise why she kept it from you and it will all one day seem insignificant.
Things will get worse. You’ll be messed up in your head. You’ll say and do things you later regret. You’ll be angry and confused. But you’ll be strong too.
Things will start to change again.
You’ll meet an amazing woman called Natalie and her mum Uli soon, and they will completely change your world and your life forever. But each moment with Nat is precious. Never EVER forget that.
You’ll suddenly HATE being called Alana, and you’ll go by Lana instead.
You’ll be discharged from the Paeds department, and you’ll be shunted around for years because you’re in the difficult ‘in between age’.
You’ll be angry at mum for not fighting for you. – but shes doing it for a reason. Listen to her.
Natalie changes your perspectives.
Nat toughens you up and helps you grow. She’ll help you be you.
You’ll join Collyers.
You’ll have test after test after test.
You’ll meet Sally and get put in her Tutor group -Shes amazing you’ll love her, she’s like nat- takes no crap but has a heart of gold and she plays a key part in your life from that day onwards. Don’t piss her off, and don’t take her for granted.
You’ll also meet other amazing people at the college, staff and pupils alike. Dont take them for granted. They each play a huge part in your life even though you wont see it yet.
Your test results come back inconclusive.
Natalie will pass away.
Things get worse after that.
Your health continues to decline.
You’ll get angry at the whole world and internalise it. Its okay to be angry, just please don’t be too Angry for too long- it just adds to the pain and makes it worse. Trust me.
Christmas eve, an all too familiar pain will return. You’ll keep it to yourself until January 2nd. Everyone will think you’re being a moody bitch over the christmas period- but you’re actually walking around with a very VERY angry appendix.
That gets removed.
You dont heal well.
You get infection after infection.
Your mobility declines further.
You get a walking stick.
You have to use it more and more much to your own hatred and frustration.
You leave collyers.
You fall in to a very VERY dark place.
Suzie becomes your sister.
You get answers and some sort of a diagnosis!
YOU FEEL RELIEVED THAT YOURE BEING LISTENED TO AT LAST!
Its a relief to know its not in your head.
You lose your mojo.
You become dependant on a walking stick.
Your sparkle disappears.
You go back to collyers.
You have a run in with an awful old lady who calls you an inconsiderate cripple.
Things arent easy.
Things get worse.
You meet lovely people though.
You complete your AS levels! YAY!
You reach age 18 and have a party!
You’re no longer anti-alcohol.
You love the occassional woowoo…(its your fav cocktail!)
You become very VERY poorly.
You have “episodes”.
You have a car crash.
Mandy gets married and you have a good night!
You get in touch with lots of your family and old friends.
You get a wheelchair.
You become even more stubborn.
Jack and Titch become even more important (you dont know them yet but you soon will! actually you’ve met Jack in 2011ish, but you hated him! you love him now I promise-well most of the time you do hahaaaaaaaa!)
Your sister becomes your rock.
You get a wet room installed.
You still love raisins.
You still love hats.
You meet a very special woman called Gillian. – Who you will nickname Luna. Shes incredible. you love her to the moon and back!
You re-connect with Troy Foster.
He somehow becomes your boyfriend.
You have purple hair.
You leave Collyers for good.
But its for the best- I promise.
Thats all I’m going to tell you for now- SPOILERS and all that.
Why am I even telling you the above?
Because I wish that someone had told me. I wish that someone had been honest with me — I wish I knew certain things sooner. I wish someone told me its okay not to be okay.
I cant change the past but I wish I could. I wasted so much time. I took so many things for granted.
Alana, every single ounce of pain is worth it you know. Each day no matter what the struggle is a gift. I wish I had spent less time angry and scared in my mind, and just embraced the outer shell I used to wear – the one that was full of endless positivity.
I’m still positive. I still get through each day – However – I also have my bad days. Its not a show anymore. I actually can see the good in the bad. the light in the tunnel.
life goes on Lanaloo.
You can do it.
In 4 years time, you’ll be sleep deprived, eating raisins, watching moulin rouge, writing a book and blog, and on god knows how many tablets.
But youre still alive and youre still breathing. You dont give up. ever.
Thats the main thing.
To keep smiling is to keep fighting- Remember that. Nat will tell you it.
2016 LanaLoo xxx