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When Illness Makes Me Miss Out and I Can't Catch Up

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My friend told me the other day that he did not have any photograph of his college days. I remember looking for mine. I, too, don’t have any.

He was dealing with addiction. I was dealing with dystonia. It prompted me to think how the occurrence and repeated recurrences during the “formative” years made my life so different from that of others and also different from what it used to be or could be. Each time someone talks about how they enjoyed reading the Harry Potter series in their teens, I am like, yeah right. I would hear people enjoying reading them at that time. I was under medication for most of the years when Harry Potter was a rage among my friends. For me, it was a just one of the things I was not interested in.

With time, there were a lot of things I couldn’t keep a track on. Not out of choice, but out of compulsion. I don’t think I even realized at that time if it was a choice or compulsion. Back then, I treated it as a choice – a conscious choice, perhaps because I didn’t want anything to regret about. I had promised myself that I would never ever have any regrets in my life. I consciously tried to ensure that I did not have any. I wouldn’t even know when they came and went. As I kept losing track every day, there was no way I could catch up.

However, what happened in the course of time was that though I learned to live every moment and enjoy it to the fullest, I secretly had this feeling of missing out on a lot many things that people my age had already done. And yes, at the sub-conscious level, there was a regret. But while being in that thought process, what I forgot was that I still had time to catch up.

I may not get to go back in time and party with my college friends when I was trying to overcome pain and getting sleep so that I could get up on time. I cannot go back in time and do something else when I was trying to ensure that I didn’t lose energy and had enough left to live through the day, or when I was trying to ensure that I got enough rest even during the day so that I could get up in the evening and study.

Not all days were the same. However much I planned, paced and prioritized, there were days that were not meant to work out. That was all the more reason why I chose to lead a kind of disciplined life quite consciously and I must say it did pay off. To that extent, I do not have any regrets overall for the kind of life I chose to lead at that time. It was all worth it. But there are always what ifs. What if my life would have been just ordinary and I didn’t have to bother about things children that were the same age as me didn’t have to bother about.

Now when I think about it, it’s quite comforting to know that while I already had those experiences that have made my life richer and complete, there shall always remain a chance to do things I could not do.

Photo by MMPR on Unsplash

Originally published: September 20, 2018
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