To Anyone Struggling to Cope With Their Illness Today

If you are anything like me, you probably came across this article amidst all your searching on the internet to feel some sort of belonging or to try to connect to someone who can relate to you.

I know how tough it is to live your life to the best of your abilities when you are in a world where people know little to nothing of your existence. Inclusion seems to be such an important aspect of today’s
society and it should always be important to represent every single person equally, but when it comes to chronic illness or disability, it seems the only awareness for us is backhanded jokes from stand up comedians.

Not every person who has an illness or disability is visibly sick, so why does it seem to be that the only time people support the disabled community is when a person is visibly physically impaired? Of course all disabled people deserve love, support and recognition — but the term disabled is so broad that
it almost can’t be defined. Not every disabled person needs a wheelchair and not every person in a wheelchair needs to be in that wheelchair all the time.

So when I am struggling to stand up on public transport, why is not OK for me to take up a priority seat?

Nobody should ever feel like their medical file defines who they are as a person — because in sickness or in health, we should all be able to find solidarity and be as hopeful for whatever our future holds as possible. Of course you may have to let go of some things that you once loved, but with letting go comes learning to cope with your new or heightened situation.

You will find things that may have never interested you in the slightest before, which become the
things you now love.

I won’t tell you that the journey to being happy and chronically ill is easy because if you’re reading this article, I think you know that it isn’t. But I am also learning, very slowly.

The concept of chronic illness and disability was once just a nightmare as a little girl — but I have come to accept that this is my life. While I can’t change anything about my sicknesses, I can come to terms with the fact that I do in fact need extra support and I won’t ever be ashamed of asking for it again.

I will never feel guilty for asking for help through fear that someone else might have it “worse off” than me.

And to whoever is reading this — I am sorry life has dealt you a bunch of bad cards. It’s tough; nobody gets to tell you it isn’t. I just hope you are able to reach out to a loved one or a friend or even somebody over the internet who is in a similar position to you, I hope you are able to get the
whatever help it is you might need, and I hope you know I understand.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Illness

ashley creveling black and white photo

What You Would See If You Look Beyond the Surface of Those With Invisible Illness

Can you see people? I mean, really see them? Can you see beyond their clothes, their accessories, their hair? Can you see beneath the surface? Can you see the wounds they are trying to hide? Can you see the person they long to be? No, it’s not always possible to see who a person really is. But [...]
drawing of athlete running in multiple colors

How the Mindset of Olympic Athletes Inspires Me as Someone With Chronic Illness

So far the Rio Olympics has been an incredible spectacle of elite performance, showcasing the human spirit race after race, event after event. As with every Olympics they are also filled with stories of triumph over adversity. There’s the story of Yusra Mardini who, with the help of her sister, pushed a sinking boat of 20 refugees [...]
college student studying in the library

6 Tips for Attending College When You Have a Chronic Illness

Having a chronic illness and attending college had to be one the biggest challenges I faced, as well as one of the most rewarding. Here are some tips I’d love to share in hopes of making your experience entering college with a chronic illness a little bit easier for you. 1. I find being upfront with [...]
Runner jumping over running hurdle, low angle view

Why the Olympic Hurdles Are Just Like Life With Chronic Illness

I’m not a sports person. I was never super interested in playing them and I was even less interested in watching them. I blame the many Saturday mornings I was dragged along to stand out in the cold and watch my brother’s soccer games. My lack of interest in watching sports means that I’ve never [...]