After you've been ill for any period of time, you sort of have to start over. With my illness, I was ill for such a long time that it sort of felt like kick starting a life that didn't feel much like mine when I was 22 - and it was a weird feeling. It was trying to work out what I wanted when I'd missed out on so much, it was going out and patching up relationships, reconnecting with friends, but it was more than that - it was trying to find out who I was as a person when I'd seemingly been anything but that person for the last 11 years, half of my life.
It's been the most bizarre feeling - to try and feel out and discover a life that just doesn't feel like yours - and it's been a learning curve; but it's been so worth it. Starting over has included learning to sleep properly, keeping up with my work and my commitments - but more than that, it's involved making new friends, and it's involved going out at 7am to see people before they leave for the day, or going out driving at 12am. It's not easy to plan for a future that you didn't think that you'd get, if you were honest with yourself, and so it's taken a lot of reflection.
It's not the cool sort of starting over, like Serena in Gossip Girl, it's a hard slog. I didn't have a Blair to integrate me back into society and forgive me for all the crappy things I'd done - instead, I just had a year of not talking to anybody under my belt; and no apology in the world could make those relationships fall back into the place that they were before I left. Starting over has meant just that - not falling back into the place that I was before I was ill, but rather finding a new place where my feet have yet to tread. It meant becoming an adult in the space of a few months - but I did it.
It's meant reevaluating all of my life choices - is university still the best option for me? Am I making the best decision for myself? Are these things still what I actually want for myself in the long run? My life is no longer disposable, and forgettable, and unimportant - it's precious, and I want to live it in the best way for me, I want to make it something that I'm truly proud of. I've wasted too much of my life being unhappy, and too much with people who didn't care enough about me, and too much doing things that meant nothing in the long run - and I want this new start to be the best part of my life, I want to look back on the fact that I had to start from scratch and be thankful because it was the start of something bigger - something much more productive and worthwhile than what came before it.
I know this has been a word dump - but it's a bear with me; I'm trying to work out who I am in a world I'm seeing properly for the first time since I was a kid. Stick with me, I'm going to get there.