The year I went to a boarding school was a long, hard year, one that I would never choose to repeat, but I learned a lot, and I’m glad it happened.
I never did become friends with Roberta again, or any of her friends. Most of them had changed, and weren’t mean anymore, but they still had hurt me, and I couldn’t get past that enough to be friends again.
Those friendships just didn’t work out. And that was okay. Some friends work, and some just don’t.
But I still had Savana, and although Callie didn’t live very close to us, I became very close to her too.
Callie and Savana didn’t understand my illness, but they tried to be very understanding about it.
Anika, however, did understand. She didn’t live very close, but we talked all the time, from texts and emails, to phone calls, and video chats, and even actual mail. While Savana and Callie tried to be very understanding, Anika actually got it. She knew what it was like to always feel bad, and not be able to do things, and for no one else to understand.
We talked about what helped and what didn’t, but mostly it was just helpful to have someone who understood without a lot of explaining.
My health never really did get better. Because I hadn’t taken care of myself, my health was a lot worse than it had been before. My good days were worse than my bad days had been a year ago, and I had to accept that I was probably never going to get any better, even just to where I had been a few months ago.
I really hated that. If I had done things different, my illness would never have gotten that bad. I would be so much better now. But I had to live with my decision forever, and I had to learn to accept it, which was really hard.
I started taking care of myself after that. If I was sick, I would take them time to get better. I tried not to push myself, and I said no to a lot of things that I really wanted to do. I had to let my health come first.
I started a project one day when I wasn’t feeling well. I wanted to write an encouraging letter to everyone I knew. It started slow, with just one letter, to Savana, but I worked on it whenever I was home not feeling well. The response I got from my letters was amazing. People always like the letters, and a lot of people even started writing encouraging letters of their own. I loved using my bad days to help someone else.
Some days were still really really hard, but I was getting better, not physically, but emotionally, and learning to forgive.
And I guess that’s the important part.