If I were to look in a cracked mirror I would see me.
All the things I used to be, the who I used to be, has gone. I am nothing like who I used to be.
I used to speed walk through life. I enjoyed nothing, savoured nothing. I achieved...nothing. Because achievement requires acknowledgement from those achieving. Without acknowledgement that achievement is naught but a scream in an echo chamber. I was screaming and no one heard.
Self is a complicated word. Four letters. Easy to remember, easy to write. Not so easy to think about. What do I think about when I think about self?
Echoes. Of what and who I used to be. A shell that walked and talked and answered as expected. An automaton who behaves exactly the way everyone expected. I am not that person any more.
So what am I now?
Now. Now is for legs that work until suddenly I can't lift them. Now is for queueing that takes all my strength suddenly and without warning. Now is for sight that suddenly blurs without warning. For walks, little walks, 200 metre walks that mean more than 8 miles used to. Now is for zipping around on my 125cc scooter and loving how it responds to my every movement. Steering with hips as much as with arms. I have incredibly bendy hips and riding my bike makes that a bonus. Now is for resting, before the storm that working will inflict. Now is for PIP tribunals and knowing I am less than 'normal' but so much more. It all depends on your criteria. Now is for appreciating what I have - a husband who is patient and who understands me, a few good friends who are likewise. Now is for posting 'is it just me' updates on Facebook and finding out its never just me. I am never alone. Now is for conversations about standing outside of showers even when we're in them and laughing about raj showers being the worst thing ever invented. Now is for grieving for a comrade fallen and acknowledging that there are things she didn't do, that were left undone that some day you will do. Now is for knowing you are broken but that 5 minutes of dripping sweat on the turbo trainer will one day be more. Now is for looking up, up at the clouds, up at the architecture, up at the sky and dreaming of the day you will one day touch it again. Now is for healing and trying, for physiotherapist appointments, splints and occupational therapy appointments, women's physio appointments and counselling appointments and post Aspergers diagnosis counselling appointment and appointments and appointments and appointments and appointments endless in their rolling around, necessitating visiting hospital and hospital and hospital and hospital and knowing every single one, every. single. one gets you closer to functioning as a human being again even if normal is a concept that got blown so far out of the water that somewhere you can hear Eris laughing. Now is for fighting. Fighting a body that wants to give in and give up. Fighting with glitter and pink and sparkle and love and everything good in the world. Now is for not taking all the tablets, now is for taking the right tablets. Now is for rehab and trying and fighting and grafting and grit. Now is for being a women and a warrior. Now is perfecting skills, old skills, lost skills. Now is for giggling into the night at the silliness and the beauty. Now is for remembering the beauty through the pain. Now is for embracing the pain and welcoming it and acknowledging it and understanding it before locking it away in a box and refusing to reopen it no matter the provocation. Now is for believing that I am the link, the link between the neuro typical world and the autistic world. The link that understands both. The link that says I am almost on the classical autism diagnosis pool but for my verbalisation. - no matter what the cost of that verbalisation. Now is for some days that are non verbal and some that are. Now is for believing in myself, believing in beauty and believing that there is a point to carrying on.
There isn't room. I am now.