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.|