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To the Person With a Chronic Illness Who Doesn’t Feel Strong Right Now

Dear _______,

I understand times are hard right now. In fact, it might feel as if your world is coming down on you. You feel as if you’­re stuck in a storm, and no matter where you go or what you do, all your problems will still be there pouring down on you. You feel helpless; you don’t think there is any shot of you seeing a rainbow when the storm is over. In fact, you don’t believe the storm will ever blow over. ­Whether your condition is taking a turn for the worse, you received a life-altering diagnosis or you received bad news that leaves you thinking your life is seemingly falling apart right in front of your eyes — please reconsider what you’re thinking and begin questioning if these are “realistic” thoughts.

So often when life throws us a bump in the road, we get wrapped up in those feelings that can be debilitating to our well-being. We begin to have unrealistic thoughts that ultimately lead us into a downward spiral. Life isn’t always fair, and dealing with chronic illnesses can sometimes create the perfect storm. 

What you’re feeling is overwhelming to say the least, and I’m sure you don’t need me telling you that to realize this. Do me a favor, and think back to a time when you felt equally as bad, or think of a time when your conscience whispered to you, “I don’t know how to handle this. I have never been so upset and at such a loss before.” Now look where you are today. You made it out, didn’t you? Nobody said it was easy back when you had to maneuver your way out of that storm, but you did it. You are a stronger person than before, and the skills and drive to feel better still lie within you. 

Believe it or not, I’m here to tell you that you can do it all over again. Sometimes as much as you want to have an explanation to answer the question, “Why me?” you must stop wasting your time. You will never know the answer to that question, and life is way too short to be stumped on the unknown. Don’t waste another precious second of this beautiful life we live in.

Please do yourself this favor. Believe in yourself and the strength you have inside of you. Whatever life has thrown in your direction, you are strong enough to beat it. I know it gets tiring to say the least, and some days you say you don’t want to fight anymore and that you want to give up. You have been fighting too long to give up now. It’s like running a 5K but giving up at the last half-mile. It may take time to get through everything that has left you at a loss, but it’ll be worth the fight. That fight that is going to give you the hopeful, happy and resilient piece of you that you have been missing. Dismiss that “Why me?” question. Instead, tell yourself, “Yes me” — this my life, and I am strong enough to live it.  

Someone who knows exactly what you’re going through

Woman sitting on the ground in a park outdoors

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

The Crisis Text Line is looking for volunteers! If you’re interesting in becoming a Crisis Counselor, you can learn more information here.