Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our Anniversary

It was exactly one year ago today that I wrote my first blog post.

I don’t know what exactly I was hoping for through joining this online community of those who write and those who read and the small percentage who comment, but I have been thinking about it in the last few days.

Throughout my teenage and college years, and on into my early twenties, I kept a journal.

“Dear Felicity...”

Each entry was addressed to the same fictitious girl, the girl who embodied everything I wished I could be. I imagined her as beautiful and wise and secure in herself, never awkward, never doubting that she was anything less than flawed but perfect.

I found a number of my journals during a clear-out of my bedroom over the lazy days of Christmas, and happily threw away a few hours, reading back over the pages. I was shocked to find how typically girlie I was in every respect. I laughed at the dramatics, the nights out, the rows, the meltdowns, the declarations of love and hate and life as I knew it being over for the third time since we came back to school from Easter holidays. It amazed me how obsessed I was with boys I thought I was in love with, back when I knew nothing of love at all.

A by-product of my diagnosis three years ago was that I stopped writing my journal. It was one of many routines that I abandoned instantly upon discovering I was sick. The written accounts were no longer required or desired, because I suddenly found myself in a life I didn’t want to lead.

I have a habit of putting down a book if it doesn’t grab me in the first 40 pages, and it was this attitude that I adopted to my journal, circa March 2008. Why continue on with a story that is not granting you any pleasure, even if you are the one writing it rather than one of millions reading it. Same rules apply.

I can of course appreciate now that this was part of my trudge through denial at a time when it felt like every expectation of life I had nourished had been snatched from me.

Starting this blog marked my move towards total acceptance. I know now that this is my reality, this is the life I will lead, and taking ownership of it is all I can do. Finding happiness in it and making it work is my only option; learning to love this life must be my objective; and looking back on all this in years to come will be just as important to my story as reading about that holiday, that victory, that night at that party with that guy.

Limbo has become my shelter from the storm. It is the space I use to feel sad, to feel angry, to express emotions that do not come easily to me in conversation, even with those closest to me. I leave my dramatics on the page here and continue on with the rest of my day, just as I have always done.

So thank you to everyone and anyone who has passed through here in the last twelve months, to all those who have read a little, commented occasionally or a lot, or never commented at all, but taken the time to read a little piece of me.

Let’s hope the next year brings an end to dialysis, and heralds the entrance of the curiosities of a kidney transplant.

PS I have been named as a finalist in the Best Personal Blog category of the Irish Blog Awards 2011. I do not expect to win, but I am most humbled at having made it to the last five. Thank you to those who nominated me – I do not feel worthy. Not one little bit.


  1. And thus the reason I told you to keep an eye on your email inbox becomes apparent! ... you have a fantastic flair for writing and the nomination was simply as a way of thanking you for the highs, the lows and all the laughter your blog brings. I have no doubt you will go on to win the award.

    Finally, Happy Anniversary, and hopefully we won't be reading of a 2nd anniversary, if you know what I mean!

  2. Anonymous - Thanks a million, for the nomination and such nice words. Like anyone who likes to regard themselves as a writer, I having shocking insecurities about my posts, so it's uplifting to know people enjoy them.
    And if I am still writing this blog in a year's time, I hope I'm recording holidays, and wonderfully happy relationships and other nonsense that is non-dialysis related!

  3. Congratulations on the first year!

    Writing the kind of blog you do is an interesting meeting point between one's personal life - with all the horrors, joys and banality in between and a huge world out there. In the end, all that counts is the post itself; every time something that you've created and then sent on its way.

    Thanks from me for what you've written up to now. I'm looking forward to what you write in the next year - hopefully containing a lot about what it's like getting used to a new kidney! ... :-)

  4. As one of those people that have been reading, but never commented I would like to say thank you for writing an excellent blog. It's given me a glimpse of a world I would have never known before, and hopefully will never have to know first hand. It's been an educational and fascinating read, and I always look forward to the next update.
    I hope in 12 months time the limbo will have come to an end and you'll be blogging about the nicer things in life, like the relative merits of rich teas and hobnobs in relation to tea dunking.

  5. Francis - It is a different experience, writing a post and "sending it on its way", as opposed to writing a diary entry and then hiding your journal under your bed. It's always a little scary to put something you have written out there, but not as scary as reading back and remembering some of the outfits I used to wear to discos when I was 15!

    Thanks for the anniversary wishes, and thanks for being a faithful follower.

    T-Dawg - Many thanks for reading. The comments thing is a funny one. Initially, I used to have a massive complex about why more people weren't commenting, until I realised how frequently I just read someone's blog, enjoy it, but never say anything.

    I'm glad you have liked it so far anyway, and I'm with you on the fervent hope that future posts will focus on biscuits and possibly the comparable joys of roller-coasters around the world.

  6. I think you are a very worthy nominee. Again am a reader and don't really comment but I enjoy your posts and I also feel like you have made me more aware.

  7. LaneyTiggy - That's what I'm here for! To create awareness, and to wax lyrical about my most favourite topic in all the world - ME!

    Many thanks for dropping by over the last 12 months. I really do appreciate it.

  8. Dear, mail me your mail at

  9. Your writing is great, if insecurity about it is the spur to work hard at keeping the high quality, then so be it.
    Limbo may be your shelter from the storm, but in some manner it has become mine as well. To find a place where someone else is undergoing kidney failure and dialysis and has feelings of anger, pain, abandonment, doubt, hope, suspension is a kind of affirmation of my own feelings.
    My experiences are sometimes different, and my reactions also sometimes different, but knowing of someone in much the same boat has buoyed me up in the time I have been reading this blog. Keep on writing, and all the best on Saturday.

  10. J Harper - You're far too kind! I really do appreciate you saying that.

    I am glad Limbo has helped you in some small way. We have spoken already about how PD can leave you feeling isolated, so it's sites like this that can bridge that gap, I guess.