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A Letter to My Childhood Self Facing a Long Road of Chronic Illness

You don’t know me yet.

But you will.

I am you, years from now, reflecting on what has been.

You see, “little sick girl,” I sit here now knowing what has been. I know this story, our story. I wear our scars and hold the years of pain within my shell. I hold it dear but wish not to visit it too often, for once released, a caged beast run wilds and causes destruction. I wish no more destruction on my already numbered days.

If I could go back, wiser and more attuned to the workings of the world, I would share this beautiful life story with you in the hopes you would realize that better days are upon you. This life of sickness and hurt does improve, it does change. It will never be gone completely, but you will be complete because of it. And that is what’s important.

Purposefully, you will move forward. A road of loneliness and discomfort met only by the warmth of the love and support of those dear people we hold so close to our heart. This warmth outweighs and obliterates, but does not relinquish entirely, the hardship that comes with being a little sick girl. It is, they are, what will pull you forward. Walk kindly with them as they will mean more to you than you ever imagined.

I know you did not want this particular life. The life of an endless cycle of exhaustion, what-ifs, uncertainty, fear, pain, unanswered questions. No one would want this particular life. But remember one thing…

You have been blessed with a burden.

Make no mistake, this is a long road. Sometimes the horizon will seem so far in the distance that your perseverance will falter. That is OK. You will be OK. No single human being has had a string of perfect days. Not even the healthy ones.

Be kind to yourself, little sick girl. Remember what you’re fighting for.

Remember what got you to this point and remember there is still so much more life left to live.

Dance freely, love relentlessly, give openly, speak kindly, share wisely and remember the hurt is over. It has gone but it will not be forgotten.

Choose joy.

Live this particular life wonderfully, broken heart and all.

It’s the only one you’ve got.

Photo courtesy of the author