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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