To explain why I considered the temptations of suicide, I will have to go back to before times got tough.
My life growing up was full of potential. I participated in a number of activities, I was feisty and independent and knew what I wanted. I had my life planned out; places to go, people to see and what I was going to do in my lifetime.
When I was 13/14, I was diagnosed with a rare degenerative disorder called ND LCH. This disorder stemmed from a rare disease I was diagnosed with at 3 years old in England.
Up until I was 14, I could walk independently. I was considered a regular teenager going through the same worries every young teen goes through. I had my whole life ahead of me and I couldn’t wait to get started.
I was 13 when my parents first noticed my development of a strange walking gait. I was diagnosed with a degenerative condition, which never went noticed back when I dealt with the initial symptoms.
However the doctors couldn’t do anything. No treatment or cure had been discovered to prevent my deterioration. I was left, little to my knowledge, to get worse and worse.
At age 14, I was holding onto to objects to stabilise myself. At age 15, I was depending on people to lean on while walking. My secondary school was very supportive in whatever choices I made, but I detested the idea of having to use a wheelchair.
I was 15 years old, not 60. My life wasn’t supposed to stumble down this road so early on. I was adamant to admit defeat, adamant to surrender to life’s plan in a wheelchair.
I started having thoughts that maybe I’d be better dead. Maybe I’d be happier if I didn’t have to experience the forced deterioration I was enduring daily.
However death scared me. Not knowing where I’d end up if I went through with it, not knowing if I’d get another chance to live a different life. I didn’t want to die, but this condition had cornered me into believing it was the only way out.
The thought of needing a wheelchair dawned closer and closer. Of course I jumped at the opportunity to buy a Segway. Anything to delay the use of a wheelchair (the fact it positively attracted people, was also a bonus) and the Segway was my form of transport for the next 3 years.
During this time, I had perfected wearing a mask, pretending everything was okay, while mourning for my old self behind closed doors.
Of course I loved the attention the Segway brought, but I would trade it in a heartbeat for working legs.
I had this huge wave of sadness upon me, and didn’t want to discuss my pain with anyone, because no one would truly understand.
As I continued to deteriorate more and more, I hung on to the hope that tomorrow will be better. Each day passed and the only evidence was of my mobility getting worse, but I hung on to that hope, knowing my life wasn’t meant to end like this.
It was three months after I was given the ultimatum to change transport to a more accessible device (use a wheelchair or end my education), that I met my current boyfriend.
My perspective on life was transformed. I learned that appearance doesn’t matter to those who matter. I learned that life doesn’t come without its struggles, but it’s down to you to determine how you handle them. It’s down to you, to determine if life is a glass half full or half empty.
If you’re going through a rough time, don’t give up due to discouraging times, because life never stays still and you’ll never be going through the same struggle forever.
Live life to the fullest, because although tomorrow can never be guaranteed, better times can be. Don’t make a permanent decision, based on a temporary issue.