There are times when I'm very thankful I kept a diary throughout my high school years. I might have managed to make it through school but reading through my diary entries I was overwhelmed, stressed and what I would now describe as a permanent state of 'brain fog'.
I really enjoyed school, especially the last two years where I gained more independence. But I battled with guilt and feelings of being judged.
Because I went from being relatively healthy to having a chronic illness I always felt like my friends and fellow students didn't quite get that I was genuinely sick.
My school was amazing in letting me take the days off I needed too without much objection. But I felt so guilty for every single day I didn't turn up, I used to beat myself up for not being well enough. Looking back on it, I was way to tough on myself. I didn't understand that it was OK to do what I could and that would be enough.
Every time I think of school I genuinely have to stop my heart from palpitating. It was more stress than I have ever felt in my life. But I'm proud I stuck with it. I learnt some amazing lessons from being in an integrated school and being in a group 'Hands For A Bridge'.
If you are in school whilst trying to deal with a chronic illness or pain then you have my respect. Don't ever feel bad about setting out your needs and taking a day off when you need it.
Much love, Beth xxx