On Turning 20 & Decision Making

I’ve had this sense of impending doom overhead for the last little bit. It first started out with my birthday last week. Last years birthday wasn’t so great. I had just been discharged from the most mentally, physically, and spiritually draining hospital stay. Needless to say, I didn’t have the energy nor necessarily the desire to celebrate. I ended up laying in bed marathoning Grey’s Anatomy all day. What a stark contrast to my birthday the previous year at MUN.

This year, I had a great birthday. My sister came home for the weekend and it was great to see her. My parents surprised me with some neat balloons that were very fun to take photos with and a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers. My grandparents came over for the afternoon and we sat around and chatted. I opened my gifts and my sister so thoughtfully brought me out a birthday candle so, even though this year’s celebration was cake-less, I could still make a birthday wish.

I had been dreading turning 20 because it was leaving my teenage years behind and, the last two of those years, are ones I wish so desperately that I could redo all over again. To me, turning 20 just signified another year wasted, of falling behind. But, my loving family helped me realize it was more than that. It also signified another year that I was successful at staying on planet earth. Another year that modern medicine so graciously kept my malfunctioning body going. Another year where, despite having many hardships, I got to lay back and look at the stars, to revel in my blessings. Another year of life. Ultimately, I think that is the most important part.

Despite feeling relief from my birthday related impending sense of doom, there’s been more issues appearing that are reigniting those feelings. I’m faced with some big decisions regarding my health that I just don’t know how to make. Being as analytical as I am, I like to gather all the information I need. Then, I usually just try to trust my gut and hear what it’s telling me. Right now, I’m not getting any clear answers.

The only thing my gut is telling me right now is to run, to escape. To head back over to Newfoundland where I have so many great friends and even greater memories. To hop in a car without a map and drive until I can’t go any further. To go and chase the sunset. To travel somewhere to spend a while basking in the sun on a beach where the sand is white and the blue water is crystal clear; listening to the big waves hitting the unsuspecting shore. To go to my favorite place spot that always made me happy.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not because I’m unhappy where I am or am depressed, I’m not. The problem is, I’m unhappy with my situation concerning my health and I really just don’t know how to fix it and would much rather run away from it instead. Escaping tends to be my go-to desire for dealing with tough times but I know it just isn’t feasible. As tempting as it is, I know that running away from all my problems most definitely won’t fix them. My health problems are part of me so there’s no leaving them behind.

Instead, I’m going to pray that He leads me on the right path; that He points me in the right direction and guides in my decision making. I’m going to live mindfully and enjoy the endless little happy things that are permeating the darkness in the meantime. I’m going to distract myself by doing things I enjoy to keep my hands busy and my heart happy. I’m going to work hard on advocating for myself and standing up for what I believe is fair and just treatment. And then I’m going to hope that the right path is shown to me in some way. No pressure, no timelines, just faith.

They always say that tough times don’t last, tough people do but, occasionally, a tough person needs to be weak for a while too. I feel as though I’ve exhausted all my reserves of “tough”. Now it’s time to just be for a while, to recharge, and then to come back swinging.

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3 thoughts on “On Turning 20 & Decision Making

  1. Jack Nielsen says:

    We think of you often and pray that some solution is not far off. We were glad to hear that Emma got home for your Birthday. I have one next month (also a milestone) that I wish I could avoid. Love Jack & Bette



  2. Carol O'Reilly says:

    You are such a strong young lady…..belated Happy Birthday, and know I keep you in prayer on a regular basis. Hopefully a cure will be found for you…in the meantime, keep on ‘keepin on’!!!


  3. Bhec says:

    Isn’t it amazing to think we can look to Him, and ask Him to guide us…and He loves that! As it shows that we are aware of our utter dependance on Him. And He loves nothing more than to draw His daughters close and point them in His path of choosing. There may be a lot of clouds and mist and storms…but there is sunshine too, as His path is always best. And I so don’t say this lightly…I too have pretty much the same going on with my health, and yet….He is here, loving the whole way. And oh so faithful!
    From your sister in Oz 🙂


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