Dear Illnesses, You Made Me Into a Different Person. Thank You for That.

Dear Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia,

I was a normal 15-year-old when I first met you. I wanted to be a vet, I hated school apart from my art lessons, I wanted to stay out late with my friends and I enjoyed being onstage. You turned all those joys upside down and took them away.

I went from being bright and bubbly to exhausted and withdrawn. I went from being clever to unable to read a book. I went from walking miles to being unable to stand. I went from being a social butterfly to seeing all my friends drift away. I lost all the parts of my life that made me who I was, and it was all because of you.


Despite these things, I’m not angry with you. Why? Because you have made me a stronger person. I know what it is to suffer, so I now appreciate the smallest things in life. I have more compassion toward others who are suffering, and I have made new friends who truly love me for who I am. I have reinvented myself and built a new person from the rubble of my old life. That person is better than I ever could have imagined.

I will always struggle with life, and I may never be as independent as I once had hoped. But life is still worth living, and I thank you for helping me realize that.


For all of March, The Mighty is asking its readers the following: If you could write a letter to the disability or disease you (or a loved one) face, what would you say to it? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.

Want to celebrate the human spirit? Like us on Facebook.

And sign up for what we hope will be your favorite thing to read at night.

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