To the Parts of Me That Existed Before Dysautonomia

To the parts of me dysautonomia took,

Hey. It’s me.

It’s been a while, I know. I’m sorry. Sometimes it’s easier to pretend you never existed at all than to admit you were once the best part of me and now you’re gone. I know you’re out there somewhere, and I hope you miss me too.

Sometimes I think about how we used to laugh, so obnoxiously unhindered. It was beautiful. Maybe not to the silences it broke through or the ears it landed on, but to me it was beautiful. That laugh didn’t know any pain. It knew no discomfort or fear or weakness. It knew no boundaries.

I think about the way we used to dance. We’d throw our legs all around, not knowing that those very same legs would never move that way again. We used to spin and not feel faint. We jumped without consideration for whether or not our legs would catch us. We just knew they would. They don’t anymore. Not the way they used to.

I remember how easy breathing used to be. Do you remember? The way we used to take in air like it was nothing. We did everything like it was nothing, and back then maybe it was. All I know is I’d give anything to have you back.

You were so innocent. You were made of pure gold and sunshine and everything good in the world. You’d never seen something so ugly until the day you met dysautonomia.

I know you didn’t want to go. I know you didn’t choose this. You fought so hard for so long. You just couldn’t win. It’s not your fault.

Bits and pieces of you come back to me sometimes though. Every once in a while I see you. Usually in the morning, when I first open my eyes and I forget about everything. You’re there, begging me to get out of bed and come be with you again. So I do. I get up. And by moving I realize you were never really back for me – you were just a daydream.

I lied before when I said I spend more time pretending you were never here than I do admitting to myself that you’re just gone. I spend most of my time thinking of you. I wonder if maybe you’ll come back someday so that maybe my future husband will know you, and maybe my future kids will too.

I wish you could come back, but you just can’t. I’m a new person now. I’m 18 years old now, and you’re somewhere trapped in 13 years old where I had to leave you behind.

Don’t worry, though. On good days I still laugh loudly. I still dance and breath and survive. I still live. It’s just different now, you know? That’s OK though, because despite all that dysautonomia stole from me, I still found a way to be happy. I still found a way to close my eyes at night and have good dreams. I found a way to believe that somehow, someway, I’ll learn how to bring you back.

Somehow, someway.

To the parts of me dysautonomia took, I miss you, but I’m doing OK without you.

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Thinkstock photo via evgenyatamanenko.

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