My Education

By Erin Alexander

Four walls, and yet my own body has become my prison. My mind wanders, while my fingers shake to the point I can no longer hold a glass. I am reduced to an infant unable to care for myself. This sickness is slowly stealing my life.

There are ten steps between my room and the kitchen, it is my Everest, most days I can barely climb it. I am fourteen years old; this was meant to be my first year of high school. But now all I see are those four walls.

All I do is lie here day after day, week after week, month after month! The monotony of my existence is only broken by another doctor, another ‘diagnosis’ and another drug.

They keep asking, “How do you feel?”

How many ways can I describe pain and exhaustion before I am understood?

The latest name they are calling ‘it’ is Chronic Fatigue. What an insignificant word to describe too tired to even turn over in bed and the feeling knives shoved in every joint and muscle. My daily torture while unseen my constant companion. There are days when it is my only companion.

I try not to think about how my once friends spend their days. No matter how bad it gets, I don’t like crying. Tears stream down my cheek unbidden, silently coming to rest on my well soaked pillow. I remember people saying they hate school, where as I would give anything to be back there.

My earliest memories are of stealing my brother’s text books and devouring every word. All my life I have prided myself on reading anything and everything I could get my hands on; even a dictionary from cover to cover, twice. And now here I lie not even able to turn a page or hold a pen.

I could give in. I could give up, close my eyes and just not wake up. I could, but I won’t.

Tomorrow I will open my eyes. I will get up. I will climb my Everest. The next day I will take one step more. And the day after that…


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