Saving grace. Dammit.

I was in the pool at lunch today, pushing my somewhat tired and grumpy body back and forth down the lanes when I had a mini-revelation.

I’ve recently told a new person about having fibromyalgia, which always seems like a bit of a confession no matter how many years go by. As I was swimming, I remembered him saying that he’d been doing a bit of reading up on it, but that he hadn’t asked me how long I’d been ill. Right around this time of year is my fibro anniversary. I no longer remember the exact day I knew I was sick (it was like having the flu and a hangover that never went away), sometime at the end of April, I think. But this year makes 9 years.

Nine years, and I wonder when I’ll ever be ready to really talk about it. When I’ll be OK enough with it to be able to talk about it without fear. But that wasn’t the mini-revelation.

I was thinking about how the conversation would go if he asked how long I’d been ill and realized I was only 17 when life came crashing down. And then I’ll tell the story of having a relapse and dropping out of college and having to go places in a wheelchair because I was too weak to walk. And he’d marvel that I can kick and swim and glide and pummel my way through the water. And I’d tell him about high school, how tough it was even to finish just that. That I was told to drop out and get my GED and how I failed a bunch of classes (because I took a month or so off) and finished doing home-bound schooling. And how I still finished 6th in my class and in the top 2% in the country.

And it reminded me that if I had the stubbornness and fortitude to do that then, then I shouldn’t let the little disappointments and obstacles I face now discourage me so much. Because there’s somewhere in my life that I want to be. And I don’t feel like I’m getting there fast enough, like I’m letting the fears and the disappointment convince me that what I have right now is what I’ll always have. And that’s not what I want.

So that was it. I need to make up my mind and get stubborn about it and damn it I’ll get there at the top of the freakin’ class.

My mum used to complain about my stubbornness, like it was a bad thing. I’ve come to realise it’s been my saving grace.