themighty logo

To Everyone in My Life Who Associates Me Only With My Illness

Throughout my chronic illness journey, I have met different kinds of people. Some leave me because they couldn’t handle my problems, some think I’m faking it, some pity me because I’m sick and some (a very small part actually) are there with me through everything. I’m sure everyone who is sick meets such people at some point in their journeys. The worst of these, for me, are the ones who leave because they don’t believe us, but I’m not going to talk about them today.

I’m going to talk about those people who pity us, those who don’t see past our illnesses. To everyone in my life who associates me “only” with my illness, I want to tell you that I’m not my illness.

Sure (and obviously), my illness is a huge part of my life, but that doesn’t mean I’m nothing more than it. I’m a human. A young girl with dreams, hopes, imagination, thoughts and feelings. I have my hobbies. I love to sing, dance and write. I love to travel (however I haven’t ever been able to). I love being active and indulging in different activities. I love learning about new things. There’s so much I want to do and so much I still do in spite of my illnesses. But no one ever sees that. Once you are diagnosed with a lifelong illness, you get that “tag” and some people suddenly forget that you have your own unique personality. They do not look beyond the illness.

But I want to tell you that I’m a lot more than my illness. I’m a daughter, a sister, a “furbaby” mom, a friend. I have ideas and emotions. I’m not just a sick girl. I have a life to live and I’m living it with all my strength. I may have obstacles and hardships in my life, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get over them. If I have problems, I also have the courage and determination to get through it, and while things may not be in my control, I still have the option of living and loving life no matter how hard it is.

And that is what I’m doing. Every day. Every minute. Every second. I’m taking my illness positively and I’m getting through it, 10 seconds at a time.