A good friend of ours recently shared this post with us. It really struck a chord with Kate and actually brought a tear to her eye (which if you know Kate is no mean feat!).
There’s not much else to say, besides encouraging you all to read it and check out the author’s blog — and a big thank you to Stef for allowing us to share her words here.
On apples and better-ness.
It is a very strange thing, to be sick, and then to be well. It is especially strange when the sickness is psychological in nature, because the “sickness” and “wellness” are not always observable.
It is also an especially strange thing if you never believed that you could get better, and then you find yourself, suddenly and inexplicably, well… better.
When you live with sickness for so long, you sometimes forget that it isn’t normal to be sick. You forget that most university students don’t spend their breaks between lectures debating whether it’s half or three-quarters of an apple for lunch, only to end up with the apple in the bin and they’re running late for class.
Sometimes, though, during the sickness, you will look at the world through your own eyes. You will see people rushing to and from class (because they have the energy – and they’re not wearing winter jackets in summer), grabbing coffee and muffins along the way. You will see two students studying over lunch at a cafe down the road from where you sit with your apple slices for lunch (and you’re probably not going to eat them anyway). You will see students eating chocolate bars in a 9 am statistics lecture. Students in your classes will participate because the lecturer or tutor is giving out chocolate and candy to those who answer questions. You will see a new person at church eat the chocolate fish they are given, and you will think about the chocolate fish they gave you – which ended up in the bin. And you – not the sickness – will think to yourself, I wish that I could do that too.
Without fail, your sickness will speak. You can’t.
When you are feeling a little stronger than usual, you might speak back.Maybe one day.
Years will pass. You will learn to manage and hide the sickness – just enough to get you through studying and working. You will start to accept that you might live with this for the rest of your life. People will keep doing what they always do – rushing to class, having coffee-and-muffin dates with friends, licking the spoon when they bake, eating chocolate at ungodly hours of the morning. You will watch them, waiting and wondering, and wishing (but never quite believing), When is it my turn? You will ask, Will God save me?
And then, one day, you will sit in a cafe with a friend, and share a muffin that came free with your coffee. Somebody will ask you to split dessert, and you will say “yes” without hesitation. You will suggest dinner with a friend. When your mother tells you that the best way to determine whether pasta is cooked is to try a piece, you will open your mouth and try it yourself. You will taste-test your own baking. You will eat burgers at 11 pm with friends.
One day, you will find yourself out alone, at noon. You will buy yourself some lunch, and you will sit at a table, eating said lunch. In that moment, you will realize that you have become one of the people that you used to watch: The rushing-to-and-from-class, grabbing-coffee-with-friends, tasting-what-you-bake, eat-what-you-want people. You will realize that, miraculously, you no longer carry the weight of a diagnosis you were given six years ago.
As you eat your lunch, alone, you will think to yourself, I am better. It will occur to you that all those times when you and others prayed for recovery, the answer was never “no” – rather, it was “wait”.
And you won’t be able to remember the last time you debated whether or not to eat an apple.