I never thought of sharing this piece but as it is rightly said that sometimes it’s better to open so here it goes…
Everyone is aware that I have friedreichs ataxia. This is a condition which gets worse with time and I was diagnosed with it in 2009. I was in 10th standard. And doctors just drop this news so casually. It’s FA and this will get worse in future and there is no cure yet. And internally I was thinking at least tell me what is it. Nobody gets what’s ataxia right? I mean no layman and I was a kid and doctors said soon she will get on wheelchair and she will not be comfortable with writing n so on whatever problem she is facing at a low level right now will reach its maximum height. I broke down internally but I didn’t show this. I tried to be strong and normal that this news didn’t affect me much. But internally I was dying it feels I took a slow poison. I was going through hell thinking about my future. I always assumed a wheelchair as a sign of handicap that is why I was really worried then finally a day came I was sitting in math class in school, nothing happened, usually I was overthinking, only physically present in the class and my mind was wandering around, insecurities were all in my mind. Suddenly my volcanic eruption bursts for the first time. I started crying aloud as if something happened. Students around me felt that I got crazy for sure. My teacher took me out of the class and asked me very politely what’s the matter but I had no words I still have no words may be I was afraid, insecure or what..
From that day, I created an image of me which is not acceptable to me. A image of a unskilled, idiot and so many bad adjectives that could be used. I had a traumatic experience dealing with my life. I started feeling that there is a mere need of psychologists. If the news dropped to me by a psychologist it won’t made my childhood a traumatic experience. I had made such a negative self image of me that although ataxia does not affect the person cognitions but still I ranked last in my class. Everybody must be thinking that here my journey ends yes true, it was like an ending only, as my parents too taunts me every day that I am a burden on them. I thought of suicide too but never got the guts.
Then, one fine day when I was in 12th standard, a girl came to me my batch mate only and she
accidentally changed my perspective towards me. She asked-”are you and Ishaan dating? I laughed
out loud on this question assumes as if she is crazy. Conversation goes like this
Me: “out of your mind”
Me: “first of all, dating, relationship, love are the words, which are not in my dictionary
and secondly, Ishaan…
Pooja: what speak
Me: “he is the hottest guy, smart too”
Me: “you know you are insulting him by linking him with me. Why would he date a girl with whom
he would feel embarrassed. I know you all make my fun. you are going crazy”
This time she laughed and said may be you don’t know who you are, we girls always talk behind your back, not because you have a disorder but you are a beautiful source of inspiration. A soul which is god’s child. Ohh chavi let me tell you god gives the hardest battle to those, who can survive those and leaves a impression on others. You are here for that anyway I asked out Ishaan yesterday, and he said I love somebody else so I thought it must be you as you guys spend most of the time together. After she left I kept thinking about what she said People tried motivating me time to time but this was not a motivational speech. This conversation was something which still has an impact. I was just thinking about me not anything else. Ishaan and I were just friends. I never noticed that we are more than that. I didn’t talk to him that day. I was in the ocean of thinking. I started realizing my worth. After two days Ishaan came and asked me the reason why I am ignoring him. He was a really good friend of mine so without any glitches, I told him everything. He said so do you have a problem with that. Again I had no words. He said yes, Pooja is right. I love you, love the way you cry on my shoulder. I love your non-judgmental ears. And I never wanted to lose that so I didn’t feel like to approach you for dating and all because this is love, I just wanted to see you happy that’s it. I just smiled and hugged him. I don’t know why I had tears in my eyes but those were the tears of confidence and strength. Ishaan become my guide. He always supported and motivated me to move ahead in life. I really don’t know what this relationship was. We were not into a physical intimacy but if somebody asks then we say we are dating. He was not a parent to me, but he always supported me as a guardian.
My life got a meaning I scored well in boards from that day I didn’t look back. Ishaan and I mutually broke up after school as he had to go abroad for higher studies. But we still had mutual respect for each other. I still cherish the memories we had together. It feels as if God sends an angel to tell me my worth.