Would I go back to when I was thirteen years old?

Would I go back to when I was thirteen years old?

There are a lot of photographs taken of me before I was thirteen years old and diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and subsequently dyspraxia. In the darkest of times I often imagine a scenario being played out where I am given the opportunity to go back to 2007 when I was thirteen and continue living without my two hidden disabilities. If I choose to accept this proposition the consequence would mean I would have new memories, new experiences and therefore new thoughts about who I am as a person.

In the darkest of times the simple answer would be yes, I would go back to when I was thirteen and be the ‘healthy’ individual we all deserve to be. In this moment I would believe I would not have been bullied for being ‘different’, for the way I vomited after playing sports and for not being able to form a sentence together. I would believe I would not have had to take learning support lessons in order to dramatically improve my progress in English as a subject. I would believe I would not have to frequently visit the doctors and stay in hospital in order to control a small intestine that wants to do nothing but hurt me. I would believe I would not feel isolated, depressed, petrified and ashamed.

However, once those dark clouds have drifted away I would recognise that my complex answer to this scenario would be no, I would not go back to the year 2007 when I was thirteen and change the person who I am. I would be influenced in my decision by how I am far greater than my two disabilities, that they do not, cannot define me. I would be influenced by my achievements such as gaining my First-class honours in English Literature and Creative Writing from University of Hertfordshire, and how I have published stories, articles and productions celebrating diversity. I would be influenced by my qualities of having an inner determination of not giving in to a small intestine that wants to hurt me, but instead to work with every time it drains me. I would be influenced by the amazing individuals I have met since I was thirteen who have listened to my fears and dreams, not with the intention to judge but with the intention to understand and to accept who I am as a person.

So if tonight I am asked, ‘Would you go back to when you were thirteen years old?’ I would like to think I would say no.

I know that I am greater than my Crohn’s disease and dyspraxia; but I also realise that the two hidden disabilities have influenced me, at least in part, to become a determined, creative, empathetic and courageous individual who has met some incredibly decent people. I would not want to change this. After all, only in total darkness can you see the stars at their brightest; only when rain dashes the sun will a beautiful rainbow appear.

I know that I am greater than my Crohn’s disease and dyspraxia...Copyright © 2016- Jake Borrett. All rights reserved.               

The Hallowed Wish

The Hallowed Wish
On the morning of each Halloween a girl or boy finds a green ring underneath their bedroom pillow with an attached note. The note reads, ‘At 10.00pm tonight make a wish of your own desire.’
There was once a girl called ‘Sarah’ who wished to have no more school homework; and a boy called ‘Brian’ who wanted a plate of chocolate biscuits.
There was also once an unknown boy or girl only referred to as ‘They’. They wished for their daddy to be ‘well’, free from sickness. The next morning They found their daddy had not be ‘cured’ and They cried; but thereafter They spent each day making their daddy smile.  
It is unknown whether these stories are real, but even so their wishes reveal all.
This Halloween a girl or boy will find a green ring underneath their bedroom pillow, but what will they wish for?

What will they wish for? Copyright © 2016- ottlukas. All rights reserved.  


This Boy Is Me

This Boy Is Me

The boy stands next to his primary school teacher, holding her hand as he watches the other boys and girls throw a ball through a hula-hoop for sports day.

The boy sits at his desk trying to read the squiggles he has written on a piece of paper, but blames himself as he cannot make out the letters.

The boy gets pushed over by the other students in the corridor. They take his bag, shoes and laugh as his pencil case and books drop out.  

The boy falls off his bike, scraping his knee on the pavement. He cries and runs into the house and says he will never ride again.

The boy screams. He shoves books off the shelf and smashes glasses onto the floor. He stops. In the mirror he sees a boy trembling.

This boy is me.

---

I paused many times whilst writing the sentences above, because those memories are all real and they all hurt.

‘Dyspraxia Awareness Week’ comes around once a year, and each time I make sure to spend five minutes of every day reflecting upon my experiences of living with Dyspraxia.

I reflect that it is okay for our brains to process information differently, that it may take us longer but we do get there in the end and actually go beyond expectation. After all, we are all unique and have a story to tell.

It is also fine to be scared, frustrated or angry sometimes. We should not shy away from who we are because a few judgemental people try to insult us. They only do this because they are jealous and have not realised who they are as individuals. Remember our voices can inspire others to share theirs.

I am reminded there are incredible people out there, many of whom I would not be here today without. I am thankful for my family, friends, the staff at school and university, and the Dyspraxia community who prove we can be fantastic in spite of having Dyspraxia.

Finally, I should never forget how far I have come and where I am going next. So, in the future if I ever feel anxious, angry or hopeless I should tell myself the following:

---

The boy runs with the ball and kicks it in the top corner of the goal. He swims across the water and does ten laps of the pool. He goes outside again, grabs the bike by the handles and rides off into the distance.

The boy holds up the piece of paper and reads the sentence, ‘Always believe in yourself.’ He then starts to produce stories and poems that will last forever.  

The boy shakes hands with the governor who presents the boy with the certificate stating he has graduated with First-class honours in English Literature and Creative Writing from University of Hertfordshire.

The boy high-fives his friends and hugs members of his family; and joins in games of poker and bowling, goes to the cinema, travels to snow-capped mountains and deep oceans.

The boy places the knocked over books back onto the shelf and mends the broken glasses. In the mirror he sees himself, smiling.

This boy is me.


This boy is me...Copyright © 2016- Jake Borrett and Paul Kielty. All rights reserved.  

Fading Away In Seven Days

Fading Away In Seven Days
(After Tom Warner)

We walk in silence, just the two of us.
Seven Days gone then there’ll be only one.
Together our hands touch, keeping ourselves warm,
From the frozen wind that will never stop.        

We walk in silence, just the two of us.
Up the hill we go, leaving behind the city below.
Together on this withering journey, soon to be apart.
Still we’ll have our memories that will never fade.

We walk in silence, just the two of us.
Looking up into the sky, we see a little creature fly.
It’s a green butterfly swirling and twirling in the air,
Soon to be joined in its dance that will never end.

We stop in silence, just the two of us.
Looking at her burning tears, hiding both our fears,
My little girl is still unaware of what Seven Days means.
But I know that our love for one another will never die.

But I know that our love for one another will never die...Copyright © 2012- WallpaperFolder. All rights reserved.  

Thoughts From Inside The Ambulance

Warning: This blog post contains strong language

Thoughts From Inside The Ambulance

I have been inside an ambulance only once. This was in 2007 before I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.

I awoke in the middle of the night with excruciating abdominal pain, screaming as if someone had stabbed me. No one had stabbed me but instead my small intestine was attacking twelve-year-old me. My mum dialled an ambulance and they arrived what seemed like hours later.

I chose to describe this night in my GCSE English Language examination; the question asked to ‘Describe a day from your childhood’, but looking back on it nine years later can be challenging. Having said this I still remember a couple of thoughts from that night as I was driven to hospital, including:
          Is this the gas and air they give pregnant women in hospital?
          This is what it must feel to be drunk.
          Why is it taking so long to get to hospital?
          Fuck. I’m dying.

I also recall thinking that I was lucky to have my mum. She sat next to me in the ambulance holding my hand. I cannot pretend to know what she was thinking. All I know is that I am grateful for having a wonderful mum. I am thankful for all the times she stayed in hospital with me; for when she calmed me down during my emotional outbursts; for the hugs and smiles; and for believing me when I said I was in pain. Thank you for being there for me. 

Thank you for being there for me...Copyright © 2012- geralt. All rights reserved.