To My Chronic Illness — We've Got to Make This Work

To my chronic illness,

Once in a while I get a little fed up of dealing with you, and a little too tired. But, then again, I’m a little too stubborn to give up. I’ve got annoyed with you, annoyed with myself, and annoyed with others around me – even though I know deep down, they only have my best interests at heart. I’ve got aggressive with you, and in the past, got to the point where I’m just damn-well fed up with you, but you’re always there, as stubborn as I am.

Don’t get me wrong. You’ve taught me so much. Then again, I look at what you’ve taken from me and wonder whether it’s a fair balance. Some days, I just want to walk away from it all: The constant pain, the frustration and the struggle, but I know you’re stuck with me. And, as much as I hate to say it – I’m stuck with you. So, somehow we’ve got to make this work.

Don’t get me wrong, you’ve given me mountains to climb, and a whole load of rocky journeys along the way, daily subluxations, dislocations, immense pain, exhaustion and a whole load of other rocks in the road. And when I think about just the negative, I think, “How on earth is this even fair?” But there are always two sides to every story, always a silver lining in the cloud.

When you test my pain threshold, you teach me the true meaning of strength. You teach me that the saying, “no pain, no gain,” doesn’t quite work for those of us with chronic illnesses.

When you challenge my ambitions and dreams, putting a fork in the road, you teach me that, “good things come to those who wait,” and never to give up on something you believe in – even if no one else does.

When you take me past the point of exhaustion, you teach me how to run on empty. No matter what,  “you dress up, show up, and never give up.”

When you test my relationships, you show me who my true friends are. Friends that will never leave my side, no matter how far away they are.

When doctors don’t hear the hoof beats, and don’t quite know what’s going on, you’ve given me perseverance and the ability to fight in my own interests.

And finally, when you make me feel like I’ve had enough, you make me realize that even with such an illness that affects me every minute of every day, that I can still do this, because dreams are there to be chased.

So now, when I look at the balance, it is a little more that: Balanced. Every cloud has a silver lining, no matter how difficult it is to see on some days.

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