I don't know if this is something that a lot of chronically sick young people feel or whether it's more me or the sort of person that I am, but inside I feel terribly old. About 80 or 90 I would guess. Part of it is physical, feeling stiff and achey, moving more slowly, thinking more slowly, part is lifestyle - my retired parents get around more than I do - spending so long in doctors' waiting rooms, listening to radio 4, knitting, taking so many pills, sitting in armchairs dozing gently.
This afternoon I was sitting in the garden in my folding canvas chair knitting while my dad gardened and I did feel so much like an old lady. Almost in a disembodied way, sitting in the early evening sunshine in my chair, while someone more active gardened, I felt like an old grandma.
It's also from feeling like I have been through so much and experienced so much and from so much time hanging out with people so much older than myself, mainly because they tend to have more time and do things more at my speed! I often feel quite cut off from people my own age, because I so rarely see anyone. Not meaning this to become another of those self-pitying "I'm so lonely" moans, but it's just how things are. I can't keep up with people my own age, not in walking down the street, not in doing things and not in the amount done per day.
But at the same time part of me periodically thinks, how did I become 24?! That's so old! It's mid-20s, not even early-20s anymore, heading towards 30, an adult. I'm not an adult. I'm not ready to be one of them yet. Confusing? You bet. And deep down inside there's still a small kid looking out at the world with big wondering eyes. Sometimes it feels like there's so many different identities in me.
So, I feel part 94, part 6, not much 24. Sometimes I get quite disorientated and can't remember what age I am, which group I belong to, can't understand why old ladies don't see me as one of them, when that's how I feel. Sometimes I see photos of what my old uni friends (or should that be people I used to know?) are getting up to and feel so sad at all the stuff I'm missing out on. I was looking forward to that first/second proper job and having fun at the weekend stage of life. Can't think about it too much or I get too down. Just have to keep trying to cope and survive and trust that someday, somehow things will get better. What else is there to do?