Being super athletic in the past, I was reduced to someone who needed constant care and attention, even to hold me straight. My symptoms worsened in the 9th grade. I could no longer wear heels, I started to experience random slips and falls, and my penmanship grew worse. By the 10th grade, I had to stop all my physical education activities. By the 11th, my score picked up from a C average to an A average, and I drew back from virtually all social gatherings. My tears had dried, I had started to learn how to fall and get back up, and I began to look outward far more than looking in.
In the 12th grade, I learned to find the purpose behind my books and learned to fake satisfaction in my solitude. My balance inadequacies become more apparent. I started needing to hold a railing while climbing stairs, I would become unable to walk in a straight line once I was fatigued, and I began to fall more often.
I was able to walk across the stage and receive my diploma at graduation. At this point, I denied myself the pleasure of social undertakings for fear of ridicule and hardship. Still, I attended prom–with great difficulty–wearing a princess gown and half inch heels that my older sister had beautifully curated for me.
I did not discuss my disability with anyone throughout high school as I believed my balance impairments were not that noticeable. I could not stand on one foot and maintain my balance, but what did it matter if I could carry a 3lb backpack and walk to and from class?
Luckily, I was able to walk across the stage and receive my diploma at graduation. At this point, I denied myself the pleasure of social undertakings for fear of ridicule and hardship. Still, I attended prom–with great difficulty–wearing a princess gown and half inch heels that my older sister had beautifully curated for me. Like any other high school, mine was cruel too, and in my case, it became worse. Not disclosing what I was going through for fear of discrimination and immaturity put me in a very lonely place.
While my family’s support was invaluable, not being able to fully be myself every day for most of the day was exhausting. My first suicide attempt was during these years. Although the effort was only half-hearted, the idea penetrated my mind so much, that it created its black hole.