It’s August. One of my favourite months of the year. My favourite is December, since you ask, because that’s when there’s snow everywhere (and the country almost comes to a standstill), we give each other lovely presents (and end up in financial ruin in January) and I get to make use of the part of my wardrobe I’m most comfortable with; JUMPERS. LOTS OF JUMPERS. Some jumpers ON TOP OF other jumpers. Bliss.
But I digress. August is a great month for me as its slap bang in the middle of summer, although we in Scotland take a quite different slant to traditional summer (5wks of rain and 2 where we raid the sun lotion shelves like there is an apocalypse coming. And it’ll be HOT when it comes). It’s the month of my birthday, my Mum’s birthday, my partners’ Mum’s birthday and several other close family members and friends. It’s pretty much a whole month of celebrations for me. There’s always something happening and it’s always lovely.
August was also an important month for me back in 2010. It was the month I was told I had Crohn’s Disease. It felt for a while like the worst moment of my life and that my future looked beyond bleak. I know now, that it was the beginning of a major challenge and huge chapter in my life. I say ‘chapter’ but a life-long disease is more of an on-going story. Or blog, if you will. Sometimes it has things to say and bile to spout, sometimes it tries to take an undignified stance and rule the roost, but mostly it just likes to remind me on a daily basis how it can control me with the simple click of a diseased finger.
August 2010 was also 2 months before my partner and I moved into our first proper home together, and 5months before I had life-saving surgery. It should have been one of the most stressful times of my life. Instead it was one of the most exhilarating. Don’t get me wrong, after my diagnosis I wept and wailed at my freedom seemingly being taken away from me, I was terrified of what lay ahead and had moments of utter despair and hopelessness. But I also endured. I didn’t fall to pieces, I didn’t push people away and I got through it. Like I now know I always will.
That August and the few months following were probably the hardest in my life but they are engrained in my internal history book as defining moments in my life. Ones that helped turn me from a scaredy-cat who was frightened of so much as a needle in her arm to one who has the confidence to face a surgery which may well have left me without major parts of my anatomy. I’m not looking for praise or a round of applause; I’m just proud of myself and will continue to remember that time as one that proved what I was capable of. If I ever feel weak and pathetic or that I’m letting my disease better me, I remind myself I’ve coped with a lot worse.
And that August will always come back around.