Today, we tidied our flat fully for the first time since we moved at the end of January – Don’t judge, we had way more clutter than we knew what to do with – A garage full of ‘useful things’ suddenly becomes a burden in a house where boxes of things just don’t match the decor.
I hate tidying, but I hate mess even more. As an ‘artist’ with mild ADHD, clutter and mess just confuses my already overactive brain, and all I can think about is how bad it’s bothering me. There’s something calming in a pristine room – not necessarily military pristine, but taking your personal room and making it the cleanest it could possibly be. I, for one, look around and something within me just goes, “Ahhh.” and settles into that mental armchair where you can just stop, and think about everything around you. Yes. It’s perfect.
My life has so much turmoil right now. My mother was recently hospitalised, and it’s only tomorrow that she’s to be discharged – this is after being told she would be discharged 5 days ago. Her Multiple Sclerosis has progressed to more physical symptoms – I won’t describe what, because my mother is.. was.. a very private person. She was a very outspoken and strong woman before the MS stole her mind and attacked her body. This is a woman who worked from the bottom up to become a G-Grade nurse in a hospital – she was, at one point, a paramedic. She often spoke of her nursing, but rarely about working in the ambulances – I can only imagine that it’s because she saw a lot of death in those ambulances, but then went on to looking after special care infants in the very same hospital I was born in – and became one of those special care infants. There’s a cycle to life, and she knew it earlier than most ever dream of. I think she must have been about 35 when she was forced to give up work, and it crippled her. It did more damage than the MS to her psyche at that point, but she couldn’t hold the babies any more, her hands were becoming too numb.
The doctors told my mother she’d be wheelchair bound within 5 years or so. My mother gained her black belt in karate when she was 42, around 7 years after they said that. She is living proof that no diagnosis/expectancy rates are set in stone. It’s all in the fight. As for me, I have fibromyalgia, but I am a fighter. Anything less would be an insult to the mother who gave birth to me, even if her mind is gone and she wouldn’t notice.
My wheelchair isn’t a cage of disability, it’s a vessel of freedom. Using the chair in shopping centres, supermarkets and high streets means that I rest and can walk further at home – often with my crutch as my balance sucks on a good day (I have a 75% hearing loss in my right ear, this often causes unsteadiness). I wish that I could just make it all go away and stash the crutch under the bed, I hate being the ‘disabled girl’. I hate people seeing me wheel into my sons school and seeing the pity in their eyes. Don’t pity me.
It’s insulting to think that I am anything but normal. I love most of the things that my friends love, I make a point to indulge in my guilty pleasures, even if I suffer for it the next day. I have the best support in the world in the guise of Heather and Lisha. They are basically co-parents to my son, Damien. He’s amazing, intelligent and loving. We’ve done well, I’d say.
I’m unconventional, a little crazy, maternal, a fighter, an artist, an activist… I’m proud to be all of these things, and I will continue to be each and every one of them as long as possible. I have clawed my way out of financial suffering, the threat of homelessness, the verge of starvation – Things are looking much better now, and our landlord is extremely understanding of any issues and knows we will pay him back our arrears as soon as we physically can.
I look around and I think –
“I have earned all that I have, but my possessions do not possess me. All I truly need is four walls and four chambers of my heart filled with the love for those who journey with me.”