Have you missed the first part? You can read it here:
The turning point came two months later. It was February 19, 2013, my aunt had just had surgery, and the whole family had gone to the hospital to visit her. It had been a very long day at school, I was tired because I had my period, and there was a relatively high temperature range between outdoors and indoors. We had just entered my aunt’s room when, suddenly, I felt I lacked all my strength. Having already fainted other times, I knew that was the signal, so I warned that it was about to happen again. My mother sat me down, and I regained consciousness just for a while; the last thing I remember is my grandmother’s face, then the darkness.
I do not know precisely how long it lasted, but the people who were there spoke of several minutes. Later on, my brother told me what he had seen from the outside: blue lips, salivating, and many violent convulsions. It all had the appearance of an epileptic attack. He told me that, for a moment, he thought I would not wake up anymore. Instead, I opened my eyes. What did I see? Everything and nothing: I saw everything, but I did not recognize anything. Zero, hard reset. I think it has been one of the worst times of my life because I was conscious, and I remember everything actually, but it felt like I was not there. I remember opening my eyes and looking around. I saw three figures, but I did not understand what they were. Only later I realized that they were my father, my mother, and a nurse. And no, I was not wrong when I said what instead of who, because at that moment I did not know what a person was.
Everything had been canceled: the concepts of person and time or – even worse – the idea of self. Imagine losing all of your memories and your whole knowledge, even the one concerning the most elementary notions. Well, I honestly wish that you will never understand what it means. You are just standing there, looking but not seeing, hearing but not listening. You are entirely at the mercy of those around you, absolutely incapable of any thought or action, it is you still, but you do not recognize your life. As if you existed, but without feeling alive. After about a minute, my head was able to formulate a question, “What year is it?“ and my unconscious answered, “1995“ (my year of birth). Then I saw my life flashing before my eyes, like a movie, and my mind started working again. I trembled.
We did a lot of medical tests and eventually found out that it was not epilepsy but a convulsive syncope. Nobody knew what the cause was. Doctors were talking about a more sensitive neurovegetative system, which basically means that my body responds to a physical or psychic effort in a much more amplified way. Long story short, they were telling me that they were not surprised by the way I fainted, since I was having my period plus a stressful day. Ok, now I want you to imagine the reaction of a dynamic 18 years old girl, with her mind full of a thousand dreams, fancying adventurous journeys, and pursuing a stimulating, satisfying career. Can you imagine how does she feel once she is told that, besides a heart problem, her nervous system works differently? On top of that, you do not know precisely what originates the problem, but you know that even just a slightly increasing effort or amount of stress can cause you to fall into a faint. Can you guess which feelings do you get? I will tell you: fear and anxiety. And how does it impact your life? With countless panic attacks, a vast feel of insecurity and inadequacy, as if your body was not living up to your dreams. As if the future you imagined was not meant for you. To be pragmatic, a year of psychological support, no more rollerblading because of the fear of falling, no more all the things I loved to do because I was terror-stricken. I was even afraid to walk the dog because I thought to myself, “What if I faint like that day at the hospital but there is no one around to help me?”. I was scared of that feeling of emptiness and helplessness, of not having control over my own body and life. I did not trust anything or anyone anymore, not even myself.
I fainted many other times due to colic, heat, or indigestion, with the only result that every time my mood got worse and worse. My house was full of bells so that I could warn my family in case I did not have enough strength in my voice to call for help (it happened frequently). Every time after I rang that damn bell, I tore my hair out and I would cry, but often my tears put such a strain on my body that I ultimately fainted. And yet again the darkness came.
But one day, more than a year later, my sadness gave way to a deep, mounting anger. It was an echo sounding in my head: “It can not be that life has given me so many dreams but not the strength to fulfil them!“.