My story starts when I was around five. Before that time, I had a perfect life, perfect mind and perfect body.
One day while I was walking out of my school, my father noticed my limp and was immediately concerned. He started asking questions like "did you get hurt in school?" and "do you need to see a doctor?” As a five-year-old, my mind didn't process the fact that I had trouble walking, I just thought it was naturally hard for everyone. Because I didn't feel any physical pain (and thankfully still don’t), my parents suspected it wasn’t just a injury and immediately booked me an appointment with a doctor. I had some x-rays and physical tests done, which revealed that I had extremely weak muscles and abnormal walking patterns that made walking very, very difficult.
That day marked the first of hundreds of doctor's visits all over that world, starting in Bangladesh, the third world country where I was born. I’ve been to Thailand, Singapore, India and eventually, my family made the ultimate sacrifice and immigrated to Canada to give me a easier, better and safer life. Healthcare in my homeland was limited at the time, but thankfully my parents were able to afford the best doctors. Weeks went by, but no doctor was able to figure out what was actually wrong with my body. Because no professional knew the diagnosis of my leg, I developed insane amounts of anxiety and self-esteem issues as a child and as a pre-teen. I knew my situation wasn't life-threatening, but it was gonna hold me back from my youth.
My parents tried to give me as much of a normal childhood as they could: they signed me up for swimming classes, music lessons and yoga classes but despite all their efforts, as a child, I would much rather stay at home and watch tv than go outside to face the world with my leg. Spending most of my time indoors harmed me the most in the long run- it not only made gain weight (which started my body image issues), but it also made my muscles weaker than they were initially. I was terrified of judgement, even by my family members and my peers. I was emotionless, and refused to accept help as a pre-teen. I shut the whole world out as my way of coping with the monster inside telling me that I will never be like the other kids who are able to walk and run perfectly fine. As a kid and even as a teenager, whenever a stranger or even a close friend would ask me why I was limping, shaky, or out of breath, I lied and said I was a sports injury. In reality, the cause was still unknown.
The light switch in my brain clicked on one night when I was 15 years old and trying to do math homework. My hand was so stiff and shaky I couldn't even write the number 5. I knew in my heart that I needed to stop shutting everything and everyone out in my suffering with anxiety, a undiagnosed physical condition, and body image issues. I needed help. I needed to start being honest with myself. I needed to stop avoiding mirrors because all I saw was a flawed, frayed and fragile girl.
That night I sat down with my parents and told them everything: how I'd been feeling with my anxiety, my self esteem, my disappointment with my body and my frantic mind. At this time I was attending a high school in Ottawa, Canada, where I’m grateful to have received amazing psychiatric help from professionals. I willingly went to a neurologist and physiotherapist and took their advice, opening my mind to the possibilities that life could give me if I just tried to cooperate, understand my issues, and come to terms with myself.
As I started to get more comfortable with myself and face my problems, I progressed immediately. Mentally, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I was finally letting go of my past pain. I am now 16 years old and doing better both mentally and physically. I go to the gym seven days a week to make me stronger, and I am also attending physiotherapy and aquatherapy. I’ve learned to always always always try to overcome my challenges as soon as I face them.
Never push away your problems, learn to overcome them and open up when you need help. I have still not completely recovered, but I am holding onto hope and dreaming of a bright, happy and healthy future. From needles to muscles biopsies, aching bones to growing pains the past year has been very tough for me emotionally. There is always a question of “will I ever REALLY fully recover? Will I be okay?”
Either way, it’s been so rewarding to see myself prosper, and I’m reaching new goals every day. never ever lose hope, take care of yourself and always put your health first. It will be difficult and painful, but you will see progress once you start to work hard to recover and live your absolute best life. If you’re in good health, don't take it for granted and appreciate every moment you are alive and breathing- good or bad. Most of all, trust in your ability to recuperate and love. Thank you for reading❣️
by Samin K @saminnk