I don’t know about you, but being sick has taught me many things. Yes—it’s come at the cost of my health, and I can’t say what my life would look like without being chronically ill, but I’m not sure I’d trade in the things I have learned these many years.
Being sick has, I think, broadened my understanding of the world and myself, in ways I could never have imagined.
I don’t think I would understand so well the struggles of others, if I had not faced adversity myself. I have become more politically conscious, because I know (too well) that there are choices being made by my government that affect the healthcare and support I do—or don’t—receive. I’ve come to better understand myself, who I am, and what matters most to me. I’ve sifted through the regrets of the past so many times, that I’ve been able to make peace with my demons. It’s only taken 40 something years, but I finally feel at home in the body I live in. Of course I wished it worked better, but I also understand that my childhood traumas made me prone to getting ill, and that I subjected my body to many harmful things in the fruitless pursuit of trying to ‘fit in’.
There are things I’ve learned that I would not wish on my worst enemy. That in my lowest point of health, I realised that if I was an abandoned dog, I probably would have received a world of care compared to the medical neglect and gaslighting to which I was subjected. I’ve learned that most people, including those sworn to do no harm, are capable of inflicting the worst kinds of harm against others.
Even more so when you are vulnerable, and at your lowest point.
When you have nothing left to give, you find out who your truest friends are, and in my case this doesn’t include most of my family. But I think of how much energy I would have carried on wasting, continually trying to win and keep the approval of my dysfunctional family. Like a puppet on a string, dancing and giving of myself on command for nothing real in return… other than a few empty words of praise designed to keep me dancing and giving.
I regret the wasted years of good energy on trying to take the best Instagram photo, instead of just living in each moment. I regret wasting energy trying to impress people I didn’t even know. I regret trying to curate my life, instead of appreciating fully, all the good I had—particularly in times of better health. I have learned to cherish more the life I have in this moment, because I now know just how much worse things can get. I have come to appreciate how much damage every one is carrying around with them, and how this effects the way we interact with each other, that seldom leaves a bridge for kindness and understanding. I’ve come to understand that the world has taught many to hurt others, before the world can hurt them.
Being sick has taught me all this and more, and though it feels like good health is wasted on many of the healthy, I don’t think I’d give up all that I’ve learned. How about you?
#MightyTogether #ChronicIllness #CPTSD #ChildhoodAbuse #ChildhoodTraumaSurvivors #Childhoodtrauma #MyalgicEncephalomyelitis #HypothyroidismUnderactiveThyroidDisease #InvisibleIllness #MedicalTrauma #Gaslighting