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  • G.F. Sage

2021: Hospital trips, isolation, and unexpected romance

2021 started off with me a little tipsy off fireball taking selfies in the mirror. I was still pining after girls that I didn’t connect with just because I thought they were pretty, and I felt very lonely. I played a lot of video games online, and I mainly kept to myself at work.

A few months later everything I thought I knew turned upside down. I woke up one morning a little on the early side with a craving for a sugary and overpriced coffee. I hadn’t got to see my mom much the night before so I figured I'd ask her to join me. When I entered her room everything seemed immediately off. One of her eyes was filled with blood and her pupils were overly dilated. She tried to talk to me but the words she was choosing weren’t making any sense. She then convulsed once on the bed throwing her head back, and then twice on the floor in my arms. My mother had been diagnosed with epilepsy almost a decade ago but this was the first time in years that she’s had one. It was the first one that I had ever seen personally. I didn’t know what was happening, it wasn’t how it looked like in the movies, or even how she'd previously described it to me. I thought she was dying, I thought in those moments I was going to lose the only family I had. I thought I was going to lose my best friend.

From there it was flashing lights, and hospital visits. Because of Covid I couldn't accompany her in the hospital, and they didn’t run any scans, or take any critical tests. They sent her home, and It wasn’t until a week later she was able to get a scan of her head. Paying 4k out of her own savings, they found she suffered from a concussion. The doctor told her straight up she couldn’t drive for 6 months, and if she did they would take away her license. He also told her the concussion could take up to 3 months for it to heal. Epilepsy is no joke, and I tried my best to pick up the slack. She was out of work for months, and seeing the strongest person I know suffering hurt me a lot. I wished someone could have helped us out when we most needed it but the truth is we were both too stubborn and too proud to ask for it.

For months, and even almost a year later any large thud or sounds of banging will trigger a panic from inside of me. Instantly I would rise to my feet regardless of what I was previously doing to check and make sure she was okay. Because in the past when she’s had one, there’s been multiple afterwards and I always worried the stress would bring it out of her.

That week when she had that seizure I had also been broken up with by a girl that at the time I really liked. Because I didn’t allow myself to get close to other’s, I felt like I was losing one of the only friends I had at the same time as almost losing my best friend. I wasn’t eating, I couldn’t work, I would wake up, take care of my mom, throw up whatever was left in my stomach, and go back to bed. Mentally I was at an all time low.

During this time I'll admit I wasn’t always the perfect daughter. Sometimes I’d be short with my mom, occasionally snapping at her, but it was never because of her. I was just finally facing so many consequences of my own actions at once. I didn’t have friend’s to lean on because I didn’t open up to others, I didn’t have a proper job to support us financially because I didn’t think I was able to achieve a better one, and I grew to be so frustrated with driving her everywhere for six months not realizing she’s had to do the same for me for 19 years.

I remember vaguely at the start of summer before coming into work, that I had this Idea that I was going to try to be friendly to others at my job. I know that sounds really funny to say, but for someone that has really bad trust issues, and is pretty introverted by nature, this meant something. It meant I was not only changing but growing. Nothing happened instantly but over time, I made friends out of strangers, and eventually I felt less alone.

By mid summer my mom was back to work picking up some hours, and was driving around locally. I wasn’t looking for love, or expecting my life to once again be changed but it was- in the most positive way I could ever ask for. I met this girl who found me right after I was coming down from what was one of the hardest spirals I've been on. She didn’t know it of course, and what at first was going to be a fun date turned into a powerful connection, and steadily blossomed overtime into love.

Before my girlfriend was my girlfriend, back when we were still in that unofficial stage I remember one night when I had to go yet again back to the hospital with my mom. I had never told her about my mother’s epilepsy, or her other ongoing medical issues. I was afraid to once again open up to someone, especially someone I was so crazy about. But she unprompted told me she really liked me and that she wouldn’t be going anywhere, that if I needed anything to only ask. And since then, she has kept true to her word, never leaving my side.

Fast forward to the closing months of 2021 and my mom has been working her regular hours again, driving everywhere she desires. My girlfriend and I have been together for 4 months now celebrating all the holidays this season together. My mom really likes her, and her family goes out of the way to make me feel at home. When we first met each other we both had a hard time letting down our guard but now there isn’t anything I wouldn’t tell her. She is my person, and in many ways she is what has made this year for me.

What started off being the hardest year of my life, is now also one of the most important ones for me. I have had to face my own demons, and grow into a better version of myself. I have learned now to be more compassionate, and more vulnerable to many others. I’ve learned how to hustle, and how to overcome various obstacles.

But mostly I continue to learn the most valuable lesson of all:

That no matter how hard and impossible things may seem right now for you. You never know what’s around the corner waiting for you. It could be months, or it might be just a few more days. You just have to hold on.

To anyone who might need this message:

Please. Keep holding on, if not for me, for all the people like us. Fighting our own battles, not knowing how to keep going, but somehow we still do. Some day soon you won’t have to fight anymore. Take this new year and make it yours in any which way you can. For nothing in this world is promised, and in a day your life could be completely different. You can either let that scare you, or you can instead let it motivate you. The choice is yours until it’s not, and I hope you let life be a thing that happens for you and not to you. Because you deserve to live the life you want.

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