Surviving the Norm


Through biographies, autobiographical films and TV shows, we are introduced to people that have been through horrific life experiences and managed, through sheer willpower and determination, to come out the other side intact.

However, although the amount of pain, both emotional and physical, is extreme in some if not all of those film and TV-worthy cases, it is not something I can relate to personally.

They survived. Now it is my turn.

I live an ordered solitary life, without wanting to.

Unable to work due to my medical condition, I partake in voluntary work, join Book Clubs and go weekly to Art and Craft Groups.

However the friends I make there are at least double my age. Not a plus-one for a wedding. So now, even though I do come into contact with others, I often feel alone. I get told constantly – “You never know what’s around the corner”.

But I do.

Perhaps these feelings have all come to head because my best friend has just given birth to a beautiful girl. I am so pleased for her, because she is happy and she deserves to be so. Whether or not I approve or disapprove, the little child, currently nameless, is now in the world and I am an honouree auntie.

However, myself and this friend had such plans to travel, to see all the wonders that Europe offered. This will not happen now.

When she goes to Paris now, it will be with her daughter and her boyfriend. It won’t be to see the Eiffel Tower, it will be a trip to Disney. It won’t be with me. I know these thoughts are selfish, but I can’t help it.

Her life has changed forever. And, with no knowing malicious intent, so has mine.

So now I am trapped, allowing Facebook to show me stories of acquaintances from university and school travelling, getting engaged, getting married and having children. It’s impossible not to feel trapped and lonely.

I am trapped in my home country, in my home town, in my childhood house, in my childhood bedroom.


I have to be sensible. I have to try in every possible way to be optimistic. I have to carry on.

I have to survive.



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