It’s that time of year again where people happily share their incredible uni results, graduation photos are imminent, GCSE and A-Level results are just around the corner, everyone seems to be passing their driving tests, getting new jobs, getting promotions, getting engaged, moving house, and digging wells in African villages, all at the same time.
For some of us, none of these things are true.
Some of us are trying our best to stay alive, and that’s pretty much all we can manage. Many of us have dropped out of university degrees (if we ever got there in the first places). Lots of us have had to put our GCSEs or A-Levels on hold (or if we do manage to sit them, we don’t achieve anything close to our potential). Some of us are unable to drive until our medication settles and/or our health improves. Lots of us aren’t able to hold down a job, or if we can, we’re on reduced hours. If we do have a job, it might be miles away from our dream job – we’re just not well enough to even apply for those kinds of jobs. Many of us struggle to maintain friendships, never mind even attempting a relationship. A lot of us are still living with our parents or other family members, because we need them to help care for us. Many of us can’t travel further than the end of our garden without a panic attack, if we can move ourselves at all.
Being in our late teens/early twenties, we’re expected to be carefree. We often don’t have responsibilities for anyone other than ourselves. We’re expected to spend time having fun, going out, working out who we are and what we enjoy, and generally making the most of life.
But that’s not always the case. Sometimes we don’t have that luxury, because we’re simply not well enough. Life can play a cruel hand at times.
It doesn’t mean that we’re not achieving and succeeding, though. Our success might just look a little different to others.
Sometimes success is taking PRN, even if you feel like we are ‘giving in’ by doing so. Sometimes it’s getting to bed by 10pm each night, even if it makes us feel like a granny. Sometimes success is learning how to say ‘no’ to things that hurt us. Sometimes success is forcing down 3 meals and 3 snacks a day, however loud our heads scream. Sometimes success is getting our notifications down to zero. Sometimes, success is taking our meds as prescribed. Sometimes success is dragging ourselves down to the GP even if we feel we don’t deserve it, or we’re wasting their time. Sometimes success is making it into town alone. Sometimes success is letting our family members and carers help us. Sometimes success is navigating the benefits system. Sometimes success is just showing up – whether it be to school, to work, to a class, or somewhere else. Sometimes, success is allowing ourselves to do the things that we enjoy.
Sometimes success is simply doing what’s best for us. It’s taking care of ourselves. It’s continuing to stay alive, whatever is thrown our way.
To all of you who are feeling pretty rubbish at the moment because everyone seems to be succeeding and progressing, and you feel like a sad, stuck, blob… I want to remind you how wonderful you are. Continuing to wake up every day despite all the setbacks you encounter is so brave. It’s so admirable. It’s so incredibly strong. You are succeeding by waking up every day, by showing up, by never ever giving up. You are awesome.
2 thoughts on “You Are Succeeding By Surviving”
Also my body is doing its best to try and fail right now, whilst the brain is not getting anything much useful done anyway… some awful cold caught from who even knows where regularly making just breathing a bit of a noisy challenge (not exactly going to help with the suspected OSA) and clouding thinking even further on top… so whilst I’m happy to consider simply not spontaneously ceasing all life functions whilst sitting at the laptop as a victory, at the same time I’m not entirely confident that WON’T happen. Plus it’s doing its damnedest to treat anything consumed as if it was somewhat poisonous, thanks to some lingering food poisoning.
Oh, woe is me 😀 … sorry, didn’t mean it to turn into one of those, but, spirit of the post and all that. I’ll do my best to soldier on and keep breathing (in the words of the song, after all, that’s the main trick) – could be worse, could be MS or suchlike – and see whether something else can also be slotted in.
PRN is medication prescribed for as and when you need it rather than a routine medication.
I hope that you feel better soon, Naomi.