Why I Feel Sorry for My Chronic Disease


Dear Scleroderma,

I feel so sorry for you.

When you picked my life to destroy you probably thought, “This is an easy spot, I’ll bring this girl’s life to shambles. She will be overwrought with grief. She will give up quickly, losing all of her beliefs.”

Slowly but surely you took everything from me. I become a husk of my former self. You made me an absentee.

You stole my college scholarship, you seized my independence, you ensnared my body and life, and you abducted my ability to be an energetic, helpful wife. You petrified my family and drove many to insanity.

You, sir, have absolutely no humanity.

You probably thought when becoming my unwelcome guest, “I will dismantle this girl’s ability to function, or feel the slightest bit blessed. She won’t even be able to eat! I’ll torture her so much, she will do nothing but hang her head at her feet!”

You probably believed I would give up without a fight, a broken vessel with no reason left to wrestle this shadow of a life haunting me every day. You probably thought, “Yes, how could she possibly be happy this way?”

Well, Scleroderma, I am here to tell you, my life is still all right. You picked the wrong woman, for this girl has great fight.

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She doesn’t give up easy just because life is no longer breezy. She will never hang her head in shame, she will stand tall and proclaim, “I am a scleroderma warrior, I don’t have myself to blame.”

You may have stolen my body, my experiences, my youth, but I am here to tell you I know the truth.

Happiness is a choice, it is my decision, and you cannot take that from me, for I always keep a back up provision.

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So, Scleroderma, give me all you’ve got.

Let’s see how I can make you feel distraught.

Even though I often feel lost in the abyss of the shattered world I dearly miss, you won’t stand a chance, as I will always be prepared for your next enemy advance.

I know in the end you will eventually take me, but just know this: you, Scleroderma, will never, ever break me.

Chanel T. White

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.


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