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Dear Chronic Illness: You Will Not Break Me

Dear chronic illness,

I’m writing you a letter about our past and our future. I know you can’t actually read this as you are not a person, but I need to write to you anyway. Please listen and understand where I’m coming from.

You took something from me. You stole it right out of my arms and don’t plan on giving it back. You ran off laughing and giddy as you did it. You took my life – my healthy, pain-free life. You were a smooth criminal. You started off lurking around, learning about my habits, watching my every move, planning your attack. You got to know me. Then one day you grasped me by the shoulders and faintly whispered in my ear, “Run. I’m coming for you.”

I didn’t listen at first. I ignored you and the footprints you were leaving. I continued on with my daily life for quite some time. Then, boom! You hit me from behind with a boulder when I wasn’t looking. Your game improved and you made sure to steal as much as possible. This time around you left me something in exchange for my health: pain. Intense, horrible, overbearing pain. But no, that didn’t quench your thirst. You came back multiple times, each time taking a little more with you. After some time you thought you stole everything from me. But I have news for you: you didn’t break me.

You made me a better person. Thanks to you I have discovered strength I never knew I had. You unleashed a warrior inside me. I fight for my life on the daily, and you have made me strong enough to do that. You have made me develop a sense of empathy for everything and everyone. You helped me find my dream. Thank you. I know you wanted to break me, I know this was not a part of your plan. You don’t deserve credit, but I’m going to give it to you anyway. Thank you for helping me and changing me. You aren’t going to break me no matter how hard you try. I am strong, I am fearless and I will survive you.


Your little warrior, Marissa.

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Thinkstock photo via m-imagephotography.