Fieldset
TB & Me: The power inside me

Ulyosh reflects on finding her strength, even when physically she was at her weakest...

I was diagnosed with TB in 2008. I had my treatment for almost two years.

Ulyosh reflects on finding her strength, even when physically she was at her weakest...

I was diagnosed with TB in 2008. I had my treatment for almost two years.

When I was diagnosed with TB I was shocked and couldn’t come to myself for a long time. I didn’t understand how this could happen to me. All the time I was looking for the answer to this question and learned a lot about this disease, its origin, danger and its nature in general.

TB is an enemy, and probably you need to know your enemy

Now I know that I was doing the right thing. In fact, it is an enemy, and probably you need to know your enemy.

In one of the sources I have found that TB is a disease of people who always resent. So, probably I have collected a large number of resentments during my whole life. So, despite the fact that it was difficult for me because of pain and side-effects, which troubled me as much as the disease itself, I wanted to feel better, I had fun and joked, I drew and looked for people with positive thinking.

I had to attune myself for better results, return to normal life and feel myself a full member of society. It wasn’t easy, because I was very weak and got tired quickly.

I was very weak... I could hardly hold a pencil

I remember I could hardly hold a pencil; it was difficult to move it. I could not focus my attention. I used to draw one small picture with great efforts during 20-25 minutes, but before it was just as simple as ABC for me. I couldn’t help laughing (it was funny) and at the same time couldn’t help feeling sad (it was sad of course) because of such “progress”. This activity required more efforts, but I tried.

Metaphorically, it looked like a turtle’s efforts to become a gazelle. It is funny for me to remember all this now but at that time it was really hard.

Great strength and unwavering certainty

There was an episode which gave me a great strength and unwavering certainty. It was in spring when I kept on taking pills at home. I always had different ideas in my head, but I didn’t dare to start anything, I was unsure of my strength.

But one day I found a piece of wood and began to slowly whittle it with a knife, hoping to get to the shape I desired. I wanted to make a wooden hairpin (for pinning hair on the top just like traditional Japanese hairstyles).

I stopped every two minutes, exhausted, and after having a little rest I used to take the knife again and continued to whittle.

Some power inside me wouldn’t let me stop

I used to get tired, very much like I was building a house for the whole day.

But some power inside me wouldn’t let me stop. The wood began to give in and then I gave a task to myself – if I was able to make what I wanted from this piece of wood, it would meant that I would succeed, I would achieve my goal, I would be healthy and free.

Beaver-like I willfully continued to work despite the weakness. The voice inside me kept repeating: “You can do it, go on!”

I felt a great inner strength, power, despite the external weakness

Day after day the piece of wood became narrower and narrower. And when I finished whittling, I started to rub the wood with sandpaper to make it smooth.

Finally I finished the hairpin and was very happy. I felt a great inner strength, power, despite the external weakness. Then I realised that if I could do something that I have conceived with a solid material like wood that requires effort to shape, then I will succeed.

I became more confident, my worries disappeared and I forgot about all hard feelings, I forgave anyone who hurt and offended me. And I wiped the slate clean, which was preventing me from moving forward.