“Don’t forget, I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”
When I watched Notting Hill for the first time, the quote above didn’t really impact me. It started to resonate when I got ill. I wanted to have that moment where I became just a girl looking for a boy to love her rather than it being a girl with a chronic illness and a wheelchair hoping someone would take her on mostly out of pity. I never wanted to feel like a burden or a charity case. In my eyes, being alone with 4 cats was more preferable to that fate. I want to be equal and I don’t want my other half to feel like a hero for coming within metres of me and sticking around.
I luckily seemed to have found that person who makes me feel just like a girl asking, in my case, a boy love her. This quote can be related to many areas of life. We don’t want our families to see the illness and then the person. If you can work, then you want your boss to see the person who does the job well and then the illness. How many people in our lives make us feel like just “Me” or like the “Ill Person”?
In my eyes, I still want to be me first and foremost, then me with an illness. Surrounding yourself with people who don’t take you as your illness can help you still be you, in my case, they remind me I’m the young person who has a lot of life adventures and dreams to chase. Rather than how I actually feel, an 84-year-old who is struggling to make it through each day. Elasticated waistbands and all. I also want to say that even though to them I’m myself they, of course, give consideration and adapt for my illness. If people are ignorant it just can become a negative experience.
I run a blog about M.E/CFS but it isn’t the biggest part of me. M.E it is a somewhat annoying, small section of me. I am not defined by my illness but I won’t deny it has shaped me into a better person. I talk about my illness to comfort for others going through the same thing and for awareness but my life isn’t centred around my condition. My life is malleable around my condition, it’s a constant consideration and I adjust as and when needed. I felt like it was important to accept how much it affects me but not to get wrapped up in only my illness. I am forever grateful to those who follow my blog and now Instagram (shameless plug) but I don’t always talk about M.E/CFS, it’s more my life with M.E/CFS.
At the end of the day, I strive to be just a girl who happens to have M.E rather than that girl with M.E.