Stronger now than I was going in…

Stronger now than I was going in…

I find this line applicable to so many areas of my life.

Experience truly does come with time (and age).  No matter how much someone forewarns you or tells you about the possible outcomes for any given situation, we all learn from experience.  It’ll be a positive or (in most cases) a negative outcome, that will teach us the lesson we need.

When I think back to my diagnosis and first brain Op, I remember quite a different person to the one I am today.  (As good as my memory will serve me.  Anyone with Hydrocephalus will know, that’s not very good.  Though, it’s probably a long-term memory by now?).

Having only ever had 4 operations (touch wood), I truly have nothing to complain about in comparison to those who have had sooo much more.  But, I’ve had 4 nonetheless which have taught me some valuable lessons.  It’s easy for people to regurgitate phrases like “Oh, you’ll be alright”, ” You’re awesome! “, “What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger” (I do like this one most of all), “You are a true miracle”, etc.  What they don’t realise is that for some of us, there is no choice, there is no getting over the effects, there is no silver lining…But, in saying that, for some of us, there is and always will be the opposite of all these, quite simply because we are all unique.  And, we are human after all.

My diagnosis of Hydrocephalus and brain surgery (unbeknownst to me at the time), was literally a door being opened to the “other side”.  That side, quite frankly, being anything other than what I was used to at that point in my life.  Ushered through by a surgeon who was reluctant to operate, had the nastiest bedside manner and an atrocious god complex… (another overlooked clue to what this road that lies ahead, would hold in store for me ?).

In all honesty, it was a door I would not have gone through willingly had I known then, what I know now (too bad you don’t get a choice).  Looking back, I can honestly say I am without a doubt stronger now than I was going in.  It’s fostered a certain amount of sass in me towards the condition, at times weak and vulnerable, yet more often than not, fearless and strong…(Hydro Wonder Woman…at your service ?‍♀️.  I LOVE that movie.  Imagine unleashing Wonder Woman on Hydro’s ass…).

Hydrocephalus has brought with it so much to my life…(I figured that since I don’t have a choice, I might as well “get to know” my enemy well).  Yes, there have been bad, even terrible times (filled with physical pain beyond what I deemed bearable) but, there has been so much good (beyond my own comprehension or understanding).  I think the biggest take away for me would be finding my voice as Skyewaters…connecting with others on the same journey and, not having to do it alone.

A voice I use not only for myself but for those affected by this condition, unable to find their own voice at a particular point in time.

This journey might just be starting for you or it may have been a treacherous road you would much rather have steered clear of too. Regardless of where you are on your path, despite feeling like you are weak most days because of the obstacles and no matter how hard you feel you have to fight, fasten your seatbelt and brace yourself.  This, unfortunately, isn’t a ride you get to change your mind about and say “I don’t think I can do this…”.  You’re in it for the long haul and the sooner you make peace with it, the better.  (Sorry if that’s a bit harsh…no bullshit here…)

YOU too are stronger than you know.  However, if you don’t feel that you are at this point in time, I’m here to tell you, you will be – guaranteed.  And, best of all, you’ve got company.  It’s truly a case of what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

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