Hi everyone, how is it all going?
I’m back home in Bergen, Norway now, the city I grew up in. It’s lovely being back and seeing my family, and I’ll be catching up with friends over the next few days too, which will be so nice, it feels like I’ve been away for ages (really just a month though)!
Before I flew back from Germany yesterday, me and my friend spent a day across the border in Poland, in Szczecin, and I had a lovely time there. We spent the first hour or so walking around the city, trying to get a look in at all the great big buildings and churches, before we sat down for a delicious lunch at a restaurant and then went on to the most wonderful place for dessert. It was called café 22, as it’s on the 22nd floor of a hotel – and the view was absolutely gorgeous, 360 degrees across the city and the countryside beyond, completely breathtaking, we had such a good time there watching the sunset.
During yet another of our long and winding talks, my friend said something which I was quite happy to hear and that I wanted to talk about. During my illness I have often heard friends of mine say things like ‘I just couldn’t believe this happened to you, because I’ve always seen you as such a strong and independent person’, and while they have said it from a place of warmth, what I took away from it was ‘I don’t think you are those things anymore.’
I told my friend this, and she was really affronted on my behalf, saying, quite passionately, that anyone would have taken a toll if what happened to me happened to them, that I wasn’t any less strong because of my illness. She said that ‘look, you’re sat here in spite of it all,’ still fighting to get better, still recovering, still determined and ambitious.
And that just meant so much to me, and really reminded me of how I am still myself, deep inside, still fierce and intense and passionate. I just had something bad happen to me, and I was deeply affected by that, but I am still my good, old self really. And I wanted to remind all of you as well, you’re not your illness, you’re your own amazing selves.