I was finding it difficult to adjust to my new life, the one following diagnosis of Pseudotumor Cerebri, it’s not a common condition, so finding out what to expect was difficult. I had no idea as I had never heard of it before and the only people that I could get information from had very bleak news for me. Life would never be the same and I would just have to adjust to the brain tumour that didn’t exist.
I had a fight on my hands and thanks to my mother and other positive people I had around me that were with me all the way, I fought to get my independence back. It took a while, but I decided that I owed myself the best possible life I could have, so in 2009 I did a business admin course and although it exhausted me I managed. I still had no idea how I would be able to work while dealing with the issues of this disease which are confusion, exhaustion, mood swings, short term memory problems, sensory problems, photo-sensitivity, problems with my fine motor skills, permanent headaches and language problems, so I decided to apply for the level 6 course and I sent in an application form to WIT to do an honours degree in marketing too (you never know, they might have been trying to fill a spot) it didn’t matter if I wasn’t able to keep up, I would be productive, retraining my brain, keeping it alive and anything was better than sitting at home thinking about how robbed I was of my life.
When the time came I had an interview for the Fetac level six course, a follow up from the level 5 with all of the same tutors from the year before, having done the level 5 I assumed the place on the level 6 course was just a formality. I was called for an interview and following that interview I was turned down for the course, they didn’t think I would be able for the level 6. I was devastated, I thought that was it, what good was I to anyone with a brain that doesn’t work properly, I couldn’t imagine any employer employing someone that can’t think straight, who’s super power is forgetting something while they are being told.
That same year I was asked to help out with some teenagers on a trip to Medjugorje. I had been gone from the church for over 20 years, but the weather was better and my role was to keep them out of trouble, safe and out of the pub, how much danger could they be in in a place like that, and the weather was better. I kept repeating that to myself over and over. The weather was better, they prayed the rosary on the bus and I had my own little chant going on in my head, the weather is better. I arrived in Medjugorje and it was a complete culture shock, if the bus I was on would take me back to the airport I would have gladly gone. What was wrong with these people Have they not heard of science, do they really believe that if God really had given them the Old Testament that in the whole book he would have forgotten to mention Dinosaurs? They really believed in what they were telling everyone. People prayed going along the street, they went to mass every single day. This wasn’t for me, I believed in God but it wasn’t like the God of the catholic church that I was reared with. I stayed a week and went to every event and prayer meeting and Holy Cross and Holy Mountain and yes I found God at the top of a mountain but it wasn’t outside of myself.
I realised that I am the creator of my own life, that everything in my life the good, the bad the things that I considered impossible all were part of who I am and I realised that who I am is what matters in this life. My life might be different but I owed myself the best possible life I could have. I became the creator of my new life. I decided at the top of that mountain that there was nothing I couldn’t do as a creator of my life. The day before I came home I got an acceptance letter from WIT I was going to college, the first in my family to go to college, I was doing it with brain damage, I was terrified, but at the top of the Holy Mountain I realised that there is nothing I can’t do.
I could see the light.