The soft feeling of newly cut grass beneath my feet. The smell of brightly coloured flowers around me. I find myself in a beautiful garden. Birds singing gently. I feel very safe and comfortable. There are people around me smiling and laughing at the jokes I am telling them. A sense of confidence fills my entire being, and suddenly being surrounded by people and speaking to them is something I feel very comfortable with. The sympathy is overwhelming, and pride in my confidence bubbles up through my core. A wave of gratitude washes over me as I realise that my cheeks hurt from the strain of smiling. Then, suddenly, I am snapped back to my living room.
As I stood on the balcony watching colourful fireworks ushering in 2020, I did not shed a tear as usual. I watched silently wondering what my 50th year would bring. What do most people do when life throws them tsunamis and earthquakes? It had been 10 years, and I missed my forties. It had been doctor after doctor and the diagnoses: depression, fibromyalgia and mid-summer 2019, lupus. On the back of the mind were the rumours of COVID 19 and my vulnerability.