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When I Wonder If I'm 'Enough' as Someone With Chronic Illness

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Am I “enough?” Thoughts such as this one are running through my head on a continuous loop. It’s 1 a.m. and I should be sleeping. Instead, I’m wide awake from pain. From falling asleep on the couch and inadvertently dislocating my hips and shoulders. From the fever of whatever bug I’m fighting off now. In some ways, I’m completely exhausted. Chronic illness is relentless. I get tired of fighting. Tired of feeling headachy and exhausted. Tired of feeling like I’m a massive burden to everyone who knows me.

However, I remind myself as I lay wide awake and somewhat defeated that the people in my life have chosen to be here. They know I didn’t choose to ask for an immune deficiency or Chiari or Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. So they metaphorically hold my hand through the dark times and help boost me into the light. I’m so incredibly thankful for my tribe. They are my saving grace and motivate me to get up in the morning. They accept and love me as I am. Where I see flaws, they see strength.

Perspective matters in reframing this negative internal running dialogue. So you know what? I am most definitely “enough.” I have so much to offer this world. And so do you. Keep fighting and don’t be afraid to rely on your tribe. Because chances are they see you differently than you see yourself. They see a survivor. A warrior. You got here by fighting. No, it hasn’t been easy, but that’s the part that absolutely makes you “enough.” Keep fighting, because you’re worth it.

Getty image by Jorm Sangsorn.

Originally published: January 8, 2020
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