It started more like three years ago. Perhaps even four or five. So gradually I didn't notice and so fast I couldn't not, my world shrank to four walls and a screen. A time much of which is blessedly blurred to me now. Cold, hunger and despair can never be forgotten, but nor should they be too closely remembered.
A moment of clarity driven by bitter despair. Two different views of a future played out as clearly as any Dickens' ever wrote. Wanting neither, still I wanted one less. Understood all I had to do to be me.
There were many months I was too weak to do more than sit. Exhausting myself at first for seconds, eventually long hours spent sat working my body to build some kind of strength while I fought for my mind to understand.
Those first few haltering steps blinded me with the brilliance of a world too long hidden from me. I would battle to go half a dozen paces away from, then back to the house. Increasing the number by one a day. It was perhaps another year before I celebrated rounding the long since closed sweet shop on the corner. And another yet before the welcome taste of chocolate to come.
As lives and seasons moved on around me, I built one anew. More different than I could ever have dreamed and all the sweeter still for earning.