The Depths of My Chronic Illness

The exhaustion is lying freezing in bed, because you can’t even pick up a blanket from the floor.

The guilt is constantly being told that this must be somehow your fault, that something you ate or did had to have triggered your illness.

The pain is such agony, you start bargaining with the universe about death.

The stigma is having to explain your private medical information to complete strangers to stop them harassing you.

The photosensitivity is crying because you can’t even look at a smart phone screen for more than a second without seeing spots.

The incurable is suddenly seeing the rest of your life stretched out in front of you, always feeling the way you do now.

The treatment is constantly weighing up side effects from dozens of doctors who all say their issue is the most pressing, and having to pick whichever one will save you life, regardless of long term side effects.

Multitasking is only having one body, which is acted upon by any number of conditions where every symptoms could be something new or something old or a million somethings at once.

Brain fog is not even knowing your own name and the utter confusion of comprehending absolutely nothing and not being able to tell anyone.

The envy is seeing the ones you love succeed and knowing you likely won’t do the same.

The despair is knowing that any minute your body could set up a self-destruct button and this time you might be too late to stop it.

The loneliness is friends slipping away, doubting your story and not having opportunities to meet someone new.

The unwanted bravery is being forced to fight for your life and being lauded for how well you’re coping, when all you want to do it lie on the floor and sob because you didn’t have a choice.

The despair is knowing that one day this might kill you and in the meantime it threatens to kill the things in life you love.

The courage is keeping going for just one day more, in the hope that it will mean something someday beyond all the suffering of right now.

The love is the people you treasure most loving you back, regardless of scars, and still seeing the person you are underneath.

The value is understanding those around you, being a voice and hoping that they way you live will bring you meaning.

The joy is the smallest of pleasures, however hard fought for and however tiny, still bringing pleasure.

The hope is the perseverance that one day something will change, if not for me then for someone else.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

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