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“What’s love got to do with it?”

Shwmae folks! 
I apologise for the gap between my first and second blog post. It’s been a busy few weeks of volunteering, interviews, , friend and family catch ups, counselling, job applications and not a whole lot of writing. But that’s life- it gets in the way! 

I can hear you rolling your eyes and saying, “yeah yeah Anya…but what’s with the Tina Turner title?!” Well, apart from being an iconic song by an amazingly talented lady. Love has a hell of a lot to do with everything. 

Now, I’ve told people very close to me, since finding out about my eye condition, the one fear that stays with me constantly is ending up blind and alone. It’s very difficult not to feel like a burden to people, having  to ask someone to “take you to the toilet” because you can’t see will never stop embarrassing me. It makes me feel like a toddler, tugging at her mum’s leg…

Now, this next sentence will sound like a cheesy song title but it’s true nonetheless. Love has saved me more than once. At the darkest moment in my life, when I truly considered ending my life- it was my family and friend’s faces I saw. The love I felt for them was like a magnet keeping me stuck to earth. I couldn’t do it to them, and more than that- I couldn’t be without them. Even when I didn’t see anything else to live for, love was just enough to keep me fighting. 

At 24, I met my rock.

Believe me, I’ve had various reactions to my disability, including some negative reactions, (usually from guys I’d liked previously.  But Grant was different, he wanted to know the ins and outs of it, and almost automatically did things some people would never even think I’d need help with. When I was diagnosed with depression a few months into our relationship, yet again he took it in his stride. When I was on my lowest days and would be sobbing and frustrated, he would (and still does) hold me and rock me, telling me this wouldn’t be me forever. That I couldn’t control it and that he was there. He makes me laugh when I want to cry, he pushes me to live when all I want to do is hide. I hadn’t felt safe with a man for years and suddenly, I’ve never felt safer.

 That’s what love in all its forms does, it heals things that were broken

At times those we love won’t understand what we’re going through. Other times they won’t like you changing- even if it means things are getting better. But that’s when we have to be patient, and try and explain as best as we can.  And that’s why I’m ending with a type of love I’m still striving to achieve:

Self love. 

My disabilities make it hard to like myself sometimes let alone love myself.  Slowly but surely with the amazing encouragement of those around me,  and from being around some inspirational people, I’m starting to gain confidence in myself again and more importantly being more open and honest about who I am is freeing me each time I write or do a talk. 

So Tina, babe? Love’s got  a whole lot to do with everything. 
Nôs da for now,

Anya