When I first got sick, I had to learn to sit on the sidelines when my friends played any active games that require working joints, or to not stay very long at birthday parties, when I needed the energy to function. Or- well, really when they acted liked teenagers. I had to learn to stand (or sit) on the sidelines with the adults.

Mind you, I enjoy talking with adults and such, but sometimes you don’t want to be the only kid watching the fun-looking game of Fastest Tagger in the West. You want to run,Β play, and share in the laughter and friendly competition.

A Brief Interruption: Β Yep, I’m interrupting myself. Nothing new πŸ˜‰ . I want to take a secondΒ to thank the many friends who chose to sit to the side with me at one time or another. πŸ™‚ Love and miss you guys!

Continued Interruption:Β For those of you reading this, who have a friend who has this, that is something big you can do, that makes us who have sickness very loved: play a card game instead of tag, or something. Not every time, but when you sacrifice your fun for a different fun, or to just talk with us, it means a lot.

Okay, back to what I was saying…Β 

Ah, yes. Not being able to be a teenager, when you are a teenager, can be pretty frustrating, and humiliating, can’t it? Especially at first. The key is pretty obvious if you think about it, but also pretty difficult to learn or put into action. So what’s they key?

The key: Humility.

And patience. Patience is good too. πŸ˜‰

Then there’s the other side of it all: healing from Chronic Illness and learning what it means to be a kid or teenager again, after ‘being an adult’ for so long.

A month or two ago, my family was out hiking, and snow lay on either side of the dirt road we were hiking along. My two siblings ran out into a larger section, where there were fewer trees, and ran, and laughed, dragging each other in the snow on a sled. I smiled at them, and made hand prints in the snow at my feet, on the edge of the field, where I was standing next to my mom, who was also watching my siblings and taking pictures. She looked at me.

“You don’t want to play in the snow?” she asked.

“I… I forgot I could,” I replied. (Or something along those lines).

I was so used to acting like an ‘adult’ in this situations, that I had honestly forgotten that I physically was able to play, too, now that I was doing better. I had completely forgotten to miss it, since it just wasn’t something I could have for so long.

A few weeks later, I was at the park with my family, waiting for someone, and I sat down on a swing while we waited.

Then it hit me.

I couldn’t remember the last time I had been on a swing. The same thing happened at one point with a slide. (When I was on the swing and realized that, I made sure to go really high, and then jump. πŸ˜‰ )

So I ask you: are you able to do things that you automatically think you aren’t allowed to do, now? Then do them! Challenge your siblings to a game of tag! πŸ™‚ Have fun. Enjoy what it means to be a kid as much as you can, because you, of all people, know how wonderful it is, and how sad it is to miss out on.

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6 thoughts on “Acting My Age

  1. This is so encouraging! I too have begun sitting out almost everything, but recently I was convinced to jump on the trampoline in the rain with some friends. I nearly passed out afterwards, but I think it was worth it. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad this was encouraging! There’s definitely the balance you have to find, whether it’s healthy to ‘act our age’ or not, but it is so wonderful when we get to, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting, Sara. You have an almost exact opposite reaction to this. For me, “acting my age” means that I have to suck it up and act like an adult. I’m 25…maybe that’s the difference. πŸ˜€ Other people don’t quite understand that I feel like a 10 year old sometimes (emotionally). Really, how do you describe that feeling of childishness, that goofiness of expression, or immature-seeming action? In other words, I have to take responsibility when I really just want to leave it to my mom. I have to get out of that chair and go unload the dishwasher without being told, etc. I don’t know if that makes sense, but one of my hardest struggles has been “adulting” when I don’t feel good. Oh, and I never did like tag anyway. πŸ˜‰

    I am grateful to the Lord that I can now say that the above struggle is lessening as I continue to improve. By the way, I really don’t think of myself as immature, but I know I have to come across that way from time to time, particularly when I am tired and “off”. But on the other hand, I *understand* what going through pain and mental issues is like and some “weird stuff” is nothing to actually be ashamed of (if one comes across as immature, it may simply be that they feel like a dump-truck ran over them). My family is constantly telling each other, “It’s okay that you feel like this–or that (emotionally). It’s the illness. You will get better.” (No excuses for actual sinful behavior.) The Lord is so good. I can look back now over the past three years and see (dimly, in some cases :D) how far HE has brought us. My strength is not fully back, neither is my mental capacity, but both are better than this time last year. I feel like I can look forward a little further in life than next week. πŸ™‚

    Long comment….hope you don’t mind. Sometimes I forget when to stop talking. πŸ˜‰
    Love,
    Racheal

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    1. Hi Racheal! Wow, I never thought about that opposite side of it all, I can imagine how difficult that would be, too. Thanks for pointing that out. πŸ™‚ Praying for you! Love, Sara.

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