The Mighty Logo

Dear Chronic Illness: Carrying Your Burden Has Made Me Stronger

Dear chronic illness,

You slid your way into my life when I was looking the other way. I didn’t notice for a while, believing I was an average teenage girl.

But then you ran over me and how was I not to see the boulder I had acquired on my shoulders, the weight I had to carry around and your shadow looming over me?

 

You knocked me off my feet and knocked my dreams down as well, and as I rushed to pick them up you tried to stop me, but I was faster than you.

It’s hard, having you there all the time. I don’t know when you’ll bring me down next, or what little success I’ll have that you’ll ruin.

You like to surprise me, hitting me when I don’t expect it. Maybe you think it’s funny, or a favor to me, but what do you know about what I want?

It’s strange, carrying you around. You seem so big and frustrating to me, but I look around at ignorant faces and they are oblivious – you are visible only to me.

But I am learning. I am learning to walk again, and one day I will run. I am learning to do everything I used to do and more, despite your ongoing presence.

I don’t expect you to ever leave, but that’s OK. I know now how to live with you.

I don’t expect you to understand, but how can you, when all you know is limiting and confining me?

Carrying you around though, I am stronger now because of you.

Carrying you around, it’s not as hard as it used to be.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via CreativaImages.

Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home