Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Childhood

I think I might have slight hypochondriac tendencies. It all made sense to me after I saw Marsha, my counselor, yesterday.

I am not completely pre-occupied with the fear of my failing health, but I tend to fear the worst when it comes to health, because in the past, I've been right.

Between 2002 and 2004 I had seven different surgeries for different things, ranging from a scope surgery on my wrist to a tonsillectomy to several surgeries to remove a tumor growing in my middle ear.

My freshman year of high school I made the varsity basketball team. I was thrilled. High school is a bumpy time for anyone, but I was making friends, life seemed to be going well. Then a few games into the season, we went in for a routine check up on my ear and I heard "tumor". I heard "surgery". I heard "don't worry too much", so I did. I knew other people who had tumors and died.

Over the course of the next two years the clausteotoma, or benign tumor, continued growing back each time after they supposedly took it out.

My sister stayed home for college to be with me. I was anointed at the hospital. Friends came to visit, brought cards, and casseroles. These were all things people did when someone was dying. I had no idea what "benign tumor" meant. I thought I was dying. I thought this could very well be the end of me and I never said anything. We never talked about it. I put on a positive face, but inside I thought I was dying.

Obviously after a few years of "not" dying, I realized I was going to be okay. But going through the health issues I did in high school, whether it was surgeries to remove the tumor, hearing loss, arthritis, broken bones, it was a constant reminder to me that life is short.

Some people heal from cancer and are filled with a new zest to be grateful for the small things and appreciate the little things. I got through my surgeries and was filled with this constant urgency to get things right the first time, never make mistakes, be logical, don't have fun, there was not enough time. I spent most of high school believing I would die young and I would die tragically. I've been filled with this urgency that I'm going to run out of time for the last 7 years.

This explains my need for control that led me into the arms of anorexia.

This explains why I just couldn't come home from Cambodia, I didn't want to be a failure.

This explains my perfectionism, I didn't have time to screw things up.

This explains my lack of dating, drinking, and partying in high school, that didn't make sense. I didn't have time.

This explains why I missed out on a lot of fun and silliness, it served no purpose to me.

This explains why I could talk easier with adults and spent a lot of weekends with my parents and their friends, this made sense to me. I was too logical for mindless fun.

I've always, always felt older than I really am. When answering the question, "If you didn't know how old you are, how old would you be?" I'd say 27, at least.

I've been surrounding myself with fun people lately. People who don't "act their age" whatever that means. I'm learning to take it easy, to schedule fun into my day, and to take deep breaths.

I'm not running out of time. I don't have to fear life itself. There is balance. There is hope for me yet.

I'm reclaiming that dang childhood I feel like I zoomed right through. So now at 21, I want to learn how to be a kid, again.

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