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About illness

Today I turned 27. It feels pretty good.

I’ve had loads of energy the past few days – I feel a tiny bit like my old self. Despite the small hospital hiccup, I’ve been to the movies (haven’t been able to face going to a cinema in months) (I saw The Desolation of Smaug and it was beautiful and I can’t stop singing I See Fire), yesterday I climbed a mountain, and today I swam in the sea for the first time this summer.

Technically, yesterday I climbed a small hill. But it was a very steep hill, and I haven’t been able to climb any hill at all for over a year, so I was thrilled. Also, this view:

Hori BayThis is a place called Hori Bay. I used to go there a lot with my grandmother, it’s on the coast between Nelson and Blenheim and only accessible by 4 wheel driving on fairly dodgy forestry roads. Here’s the outlook on the way in:

Hori Bay 2

Despite some setbacks last night, I woke up today determined to have a good birthday. I saw friends, tried on clothes I can’t afford, swam at the beach, and ate pizza I am not allowed for dinner. A thoroughly delicious way to celebrate another year passed.

I used to think 27 was very, very old, and by this age I would definitely own a house, and have children and a marriage, and all those arbitrary cultural measures of success, which I’m not even sure I want but I always felt I should strive for anyway because that was what Adults (I don’t consider myself one of these) do.

Truth is, I’m just glad to be here. I’ve made it through a year of illness. In a few weeks, I get to move in to a beautiful house with family. I’m starting to see tiny slow steps of progress.

Sometimes, the fight is hard. Often, it’s really really really hard. But it’s also really really worth it.

– SW



About writehandedgirl

Sarah is a writer who is passionate about social justice, feminism, politics, and cats. She is a columnist and poet and currently lives in Nelson. You can follow Sarah on Twitter (@_writehanded_) or read more of her writing at


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