NYT Prompt 015: Staying Strong

Prompt: What personal achievements make you proud?

I have a few personal achievements of note, such as building my first website at the tender age of eleven. Using some of my Dad’s computer books, I built it using HTML. Two years later, I taught myself CSS. Now I tend to go the easy way, though my Dad has suggested that I get back into web design. More often than not, I’ll find a template I like and edit it to fit my needs. I also know more than many guys my age about cars, which is also a plus. I can change my own oil, my own tires; I also am capable of supporting myself – though I choose not to at this time. Why?

Well, that leads into the personal achievement of which I am most proud: staying strong. Late last year, I was diagnosed, after several months of being extremely ill, with ulcerative colitis. I’ve spent five months on high doses of prednisone (a steroid that wreaks havoc on one’s body by keeping you awake and increasing weight gain) and am currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment. I was also in a relationship where I wasn’t happy. Despite that, I have persevered. Where many people would give up, I have fought hard. I ended my relationship (even though I would have rather worked things out) and moved back in with my mother to focus on my own health. Though I live an hour away, I attend school full time and I work full time – not an easy feat given my circumstances.

I’ve had to make a lot of difficult choices, and one of those was choosing to fight where so many give up, where so many fail. That is my greatest personal achievement. Only when I have finally learned to love myself, and that I am not a victim of my past relationships; that I am not my illness; that I am not worthless, will I top that. 2017 will be a year all about me, and about improving my life.

Liked it? Take a second to support E. M. Jenkinson on Patreon!