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To My Friends Who Knew Me Before I Became Chronically Ill

Yeah, maybe things have changed a bit. Maybe I’m facing a chronic illness, maybe I’m facing one that is even threatening to take my life. Either way,¬†please try to remember that I’m still me. I know things are different than they used to be and that my world, and maybe yours, has been turned upside down and spun 180 degrees. I might be too sick to get out of bed some days, or have to cancel plans last minute because I just don’t feel up to going out.¬†Trust me, I don’t want it to be this way and though things may have changed, I don’t want you to treat me differently.¬†I want to be that fun loving, excitable, and happy-go-lucky¬†person you used to know and somewhere beneath all of my symptoms,¬†I still am that¬†person.¬†

I’m still that¬†person you shared many laughs with. I’m still that¬†person you hung out with and talked with for hours on end about irrelevant drama. I’m still that¬†person you ran around with while we were¬†screaming at the tops of¬†our¬†lungs, having not a care in the world. I’m still that¬†person you stayed up with until 3 a.m. binging movies and eating all the junk food we could get our hands on. I’m still that¬†person you came to when life just wasn’t going your way, and¬†you needed someone who understood. I’m still that¬†person¬†you knew way before all of this happened. As much as things have changed, please help me keep some kind of normalcy in my life. I don’t want to forget the person I used to be, and I don’t want you to forget it, either. I don’t want our amazing memories to fade into the background of my new reality, whether this reality is¬†just for now or for forever. I’m trying to keep those memories alive because right now I’m fighting to get that person back.

No matter what,¬†don’t forget about that¬†effervescent person¬†that you used to know. It might be challenging for the eye to see, but please look just a little bit harder.¬†Beneath the shell of¬†my exhausted body and behind the tears I occasionally¬†shed, I am still in here.¬†Please don’t¬†forget about the real me.

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