The Love Letter My Body Is Writing Me


Some would say that I got the bad end of the deal. I got a bad body, my body hates me and so on.

I don’t think that is always the truth.

I mean, yes, I live with a mood disorder. I also live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from trauma. And yes, my immune system has decided to not work properly, and my body can only develop faulty collagen, which brings on problems all on their own. Yes, I am allergic to the sun and intolerant to both gluten and lactose. Lastly, the most recent discovery is that my stomach is paralyzed. Yes, it’s challenging to live with, but I wouldn’t say it hates me.

My body is telling me it’s OK to slow down and smell the roses. It’s reminding me that instead of being happy until the storms hit, that I need to find happiness in every situation whether good or bad. The dark always brings with it a speck of light; my job is to focus and bring that light out.

My body is telling me it’s OK to be broken and being broken really means I’m strong beyond measure. It’s telling me I can cry. It’s reminding me I can experience a great amount of physical, emotional, mental or even spiritual pain and survive.

Yes, my body is telling me I am a fighter and survivor.

My body is telling me that it’s OK to avoid fluorescent lights and the sun. It’s OK to lock myself in my bedroom away from UV rays of the sun. Not only that, it’s OK to spend the day in bed watching movies, in the most comfortable clothes or pajamas I have, with my teddy bear. And, it’s OK to do that for days at a time.

My body is telling me it’s OK to skip a few meals and to drink just as much as I can handle, nothing more, even if it means being malnourished and severely dehydrated. This is OK because no one can really see how hard my body works to process any amount of food or liquids. After all, my stomach is paralyzed. I try my very best and that is all my body asks — to fight.

Also, my body is telling me it’s OK to put off brushing my teeth a few hours, unless I want to vomit and then, you know, I would just have to brush my teeth again. No, my body says that it’s OK to wait for the nausea to subside a little, but not completely because it won’t leave.

My body is telling me it’s OK to feel like I’m living with the flu (or morning sickness) 24/7/365 because in this way it lets me know my body is still fighting. Fighting to stay alive.

Along these same lines my body is telling me that ER visits during middle of the night due to severe dehydration are OK. It’s OK to have IVs for hydration or feeding tubes for nutrition.

My body is telling me it’s OK to not lift those weights today — or any day, really. It’s OK to skip exercise for a day.

My body is telling me to wear my braces with pride. There aren’t a lot of ways I can show my pain short of breaking out in tears in the middle of church — or the store. Let’s face it, I hate people seeing me cry! So wearing my knee, wrist or ankle braces for comfort are perfectly fine.

The pain in every inch of my body is telling me I am alive. I am strong. I am a fighter and I am a survivor.

My body is telling me it’s OK to spend the day in my room with no shirt on. It’s OK to not wear my bra in the house.

It’s OK to not take a shower today and to just rest. It’s OK to sit down and rest when everyone else my age is active. It’s OK to take my inhaler when I can’t breathe, and it’s OK to take my other medications.

My body is telling me that the weight gain is OK because I know why I gained the weight — due to my body fighting — and that is all that truly matters. My stretch marks are also OK for the same reason.

My body is telling me it’s OK to turn down an adventure due to joint dislocations, pain of any kind or just pure exhaustion. It’s also more than OK to turn back on the hike or go home early from the camping trip because I am reacting to the sun, a dislocated a joint or are just too exhausted to go on.

My body is telling me that it’s OK to have panic attacks in the middle of church, it’s OK to have flashbacks from the trauma, to spend all night tossing and turning from nightmares. Flashbacks. My body is telling me that it’s okay to be in pain. It’s okay to be paranoid sometimes, to hear voices. It’s okay to be hypomanic, or depressed, even suicidal because these are the times I want to fight for life even harder. This mood disorder is not taking me down.

My body is telling me that it is more than OK to pray for a cure, but it’s also more than OK to just pray for comfort or peace. Whatever my mind needs to feel comfort.

Because all of this means, I am a fighter. I am a survivor. And, I am not easily broken.

So no, I didn’t get the bad end of the deal, and my body does not hate me. My body loves me. It loves me enough to show me how strong I really am and that nothing can break me. Nothing has broken me so far. I’m only getting stronger with each and every day.

My body loves me. It wants me to thrive with these multiple incurable illnesses, and this is the love letter it is writing me

Every. Single. Day.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Chronic Illness

doctor taking notes on a clipboard

To the Doctor Who Called Me an ‘Interesting Patient’

A few months back, I was visiting my student health center for something completely unrelated to my chronic health issues — an ingrown toenail. This doctor wasn’t a specialist or a physician I usually see; he was just the only doctor available for the day and time that worked with my schedule.  Of course, when [...]
Close-up of a young woman holding her baby

Should I Become a Mom Despite My Chronic Illnesses?

Those of you who know me in real life, and those who have been following my blog for quite a while, know that the one thing I really want from my life is to be a mom. Unfortunately, around the time we started having serious discussions about potentially starting a family in the next year or two, [...]
legs and feet wearing socks in hospital bed

What You Can't Tell From Looking at Those of Us With Invisible Illnesses

This week is invisible illness week. Admittedly it is not something I think I’ve ever posted/written about, but this year it feels more relevant to me and I’m a little bored lying in the hospital right now, which has got me thinking that I cannot let this opportunity pass by. In case you’re wondering, an [...]
mother holding child’s hand

When My Son’s Doctors Viewed His Daily Symptoms as Acceptable

Our 5-year-old son has a number of congenital “anomalies” as his doctors like to call them, from his brain and spine to his heart and intestines. His list of diagnoses can fill a page on the doctor’s printouts. However, the one thing that has troubled him the most is his gastrointestinal (GI) issues: vomiting and constipation. [...]