Anyone who saw my face, aged nineteen, should have concluded that there was something wrong with me. I looked like Michael Jackson in his 1991 phase, only more gaunt.

Well obviously not that much like him, but it’s the best comparison I can make to explain just how odd I looked relative to my age. I looked more like fifteen than a year off twenty. My skin was extremely pallid, but my lips always a bright red, my cheek bones protruding. It’s really hard to look at that face in old photos.

It still puzzles me to this day why my family did not pick up on my appearance and take steps to find out what might be wrong with me. I wasn’t just slim; I was unnaturally thin, my arms little more than bones. But maybe that’s just the benefit of hindsight. A decade after that I received a diagnosis which explained everything, but at the time: then we just had to get used to it.

I’ve never spoken to my wider family about my diagnosis or its impact on my life. My wife did speak to my mother about it, but it’s not something we ever spoke of one-to-one. Those days are never to be spoken of it seems. We’ve explored my journey of faith in far greater detail. Yes, me the Muslim and them, two Christian priests. I suppose there were two elephants in the room, and we could only confront one of them.

All of the above triggered once more, coming across a photo of myself, while waiting for media files to upload to OneDrive. I logged onto my laptop to edit a video. Of course, I should just have inserted the SD-card into a reader and been done with it. As it is, that window of opportunity is gone. The video will have to wait.

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