I See You Under the Rain Cloud of Your Chronic Illness

I see you waking up in the morning as you’re holding back tears, doing your best to get your body in motion. You always hope that today’s forecast calls for only a light rain. Getting out of bed and hobbling to the bathroom allows you to assess what kind of storm to prepare for today. Sure, a bad one can come at any time… that’s always in the back of your mind. You try and stay positive that today will be nice, that maybe even the sunshine will break out of the clouds and say hi.

I see you getting ready to brave the storm. Some days it takes a while to do all that you need to do; some days it’s as easy as taking some pills. Some days you go to bed soaked from head to toe and you wake up still wet… those days are the worst. Maybe you weren’t well prepared, or maybe a storm unexpectedly came by and soaked you to your core. Maybe you did your best, but you can’t stop a hurricane.

I see the rain cloud that follows you and I see it raining on you. Inside, outside, at work, in bed, going out with friends, doing errands and chores, always and forever. I know you don’t want me to feel sorry for you and you want me to keep you strong while you brave your storm. I know how frustrated you are that doctors can’t see your rain cloud and how they won’t even offer an umbrella to help you stay dry. I know you’re doing the best you can.

I see your storm patterns and how they can change suddenly. You have to be ready for anything at all times, and you’ve learned a lot of tips and tricks throughout the way. The only spontaneity you get now is flexing when the storm allows or demands it. Sometimes the path you’re on gets rained out and floods and you have to wait a while before you can cross and continue. Sometimes you have to slow your walk down that path before you can go faster again.

I see the aftermath and destruction of your storms. Small storms are your new baseline and are easy to manage while larger storms can take days, weeks, months to recover from. I’ve watched you rebuild everything around you over and over on your own. When you rebuild you use better and stronger materials in hopes that the next storm will have a better outcome. One thing you’ve learned you can’t control is when a storm comes and how strong it will be, you just do your best to brave through it and rebuild better again.

I see you feeling lonely because your cloud belongs to only you. I see you feeling tired of another day with a new storm. I see you pushing through and trying to stay positive. I see you creating happiness when it’s a dark and stormy day. I see you being active when you’d rather lay in bed. I see you in moments when you want to quit. Remember that you have to keep going, that you can do it, and that you will do it. I see you and your rain cloud, because you are me.

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