I saw this picture and thought about where I was a year ago. I had moved in with C already, I was starting college for the first time, and I was beginning the descent into pain. I was already quite sick, as the first semester proved. If I ever start to think that I'm not a determined individual, I just remember math class and dragging myself there every day through a haze of sickness, extreme fatigue, and gut pain. (This was before the leg/widespread body pain became apparent.) I was also fighting with severe depression and dealing with a lot of junk being dredged up by leading the tween sexual assault survivor group. It brought up a lot of my own stuff to deal with, which was hard.
I believe it was about a year ago that C and I got engaged, as well. I'm going to go check on that real quick... Yes. We were planning the wedding, even if we weren't "officially" engaged yet (as in he hadn't technically proposed yet, but... whatever. If you decide that you're getting married, you're engaged. I don't care what the wedding magazines say.).
A year ago, I knew I'd be married, but I didn't ever envision being so sick. It never, ever crossed my mind that I'd have both a stick and a walker, and use them with regularity. I knew that C intended to buy a house, but it never really occurred to me what being mistress of my own little home would be like. (Probably because the first time I really ever lived in a house was with the S's.) I never, ever thought that I'd stop going to church.
I never pictured that I'd be so all-fired happy. I had no concept of the deep satisfaction that I would derive from loving, being loved, being a wife, being a friend, working, being a badass chronic illness fighter... I have never loved my life more. I also didn't picture the amount of work and personal growth that it would take to get here.
In regards to illness, I'm better in some ways now than I was a year ago, and worse in some ways. Obviously, the pain is much worse than it was, and it continues to develop with the passing of time. However, I don't struggle with gut pain nearly as much anymore, my bowels mostly move on their own these days, my fatigue levels have dropped considerably, and I've figured out a mostly digestible diet for myself. Also, the dizziness is not so much of a ever-present factor, though it does come and go.
So, yes. I wouldn't have pictured my life as being like this a year ago, but... I'm fine with that. My life is infinitely richer and more fulfilling than I could have possibly dreamed! And frankly, I'm grateful to finally have hit a "smooth" patch without trauma and drama. It's about time I got to enjoy some normalcy, I think.