Simon Says: Let It Go, Let It Go, Let It Go

Junior Simon Sun was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 8. As a result of complications with the medications, he developed symmetrical brain damage, which rendered him with cerebral palsy-like symptoms. In Simon Says, he writes about surviving high school with a disability.

Junior Simon Sun was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 8. As a result of complications with the medications, he developed symmetrical brain damage, which rendered him with cerebral palsy-like symptoms. In Simon Says, he writes about surviving high school with a disability.

I’m not exactly a big fan of Decembers.

Oh yeah, there’s the holidays and winter break and lots and lots of food, which is always good, but December means something else to me.  This month, it has been 8 years since I was first diagnosed with leukemia.

The fact that it’s been so long since I was just a normal kid seriously blows my mind (pun not intended). Although I didn’t receive my brain injury until February, cancer was essentially the root of… well, everything. It’s unbelievable to me that I’ve gone all these years like this. And with the tough “survival of the fittest” mood that hangs like fog in the deadly jungle that is high school, I have no idea how I’ve managed to stay alive.

Before my freshman year, I was absolutely certain that high school was exactly as it was portrayed in the movies: jocks beating up on the smaller kids, cliques that are as rigid as the caste system, and clear-cut distinctions between the social and educational sides of school. Heck, I half expected students to randomly break into song until a month into the year. But the truth was, none of these phenomena occurred—at least, not as exaggerated.

That’s not to say high school isn’t a treacherous place. No, high school is in fact a brutal environment. Except that the predators aren’t physical—they’re psychological. Misbalance one activity and the next thing you know, you’re pulling an all-nighter. One slip of the tongue and you’re getting weird looks from total strangers.

As a disabled person, these factors are amplified. When I first walked through the doors freshman year, the weird looks were all I got (it does get familiar over time though—and I’ve learned how to sass people out of it, too). Late nights are essentially the norm now in junior year. When the stakes are twice as high, you have to navigate the minefield with absolute precision.

Maybe I don’t know how I’ve survived. Maybe it just… happens. Maybe I’ve just been dragged kicking and screaming toward the finish line. But isn’t that how everyone stays alive?

As I write this, Christmas music is blaring in the hallways. Kids are dancing. The locker banks are aglow with decorations. I’ve just kept afloat for another half of a year.

Perhaps, it’s time to stop looking back and wondering how I’ve managed to make it this far. Perhaps, it’s time to look toward the future, or just be glad that I have made it this far.

Perhaps, it’s time to join in on the fun.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: