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To My Future Self Who Struggles With Illness

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Dear future Nadia,

I know faith can easily be tried. And patience can falter. But the way your will and endurance stay by your side relentlessly… I’ll always admire that about you. I’m here to reassure you that you’ll be fine – you’ll be even stronger. Keep deflecting all your hardships with such inborn grace and strength. It will all pay off. Hope will soon return.

I know you feel alone, even with the loving support from your close ones. Not everyone can understand what it’s truly like, even those who try. It’s not something you can explain; they have to live through it with every fiber of their being. But know they love you and want the best for you. They wish to be there for you; don’t be afraid to ask.

Don’t be afraid to be your best friend, too. At the end of the day, you’re all you’ve got. And never feel guilty for giving yourself the time, space and solitude you need to rest, recharge and re-bounce. Your body is a beautiful vessel for your soul and energy, and the only one you’ve got, so take good care of it – it will take you to wonderful places, feed your heart, enlighten your mind.

I’m here to tell you that better days are ahead. I know it can feel like a rollercoaster ride. You feel elated and free one day. The next, you’re depressed and aching. It can be teasing. But better days are ahead. More of them. And true healing is happening even now. With all the good that you do to nurture your body, you’re getting there one day at a time. Setbacks are inevitable, but you’re making real progress already. You know exactly what your body needs, what sets it off. Tune in to your gut, it won’t ever deceive you.

Don’t stop dreaming. Never stop dreaming. There’s so much magic and beauty to see in this world. And you will see it. Marvel at it. There’s so much of you to share with the world as well. Your experience, compassion, wisdom, abilities, gifts. The world is waiting – it can hardly wait for you to leave a transforming imprint. For now, cherish the simple moments; they’re quite miraculous, too.

Keep advocating for yourself and others who have been silenced for too long. Keep fighting for your rights as a patient, as a human being. Keep speaking the truth of what it’s really like, of what needs to change to better your life. Don’t leave anything out. Keep yelling it at the top of your lungs so that those who are supposed to be your primary health advocates finally listen, finally hear. May they finally acknowledge what’s truly best for you. May the entire health community shift. May the walls shatter when it does. May it rebuild itself with newer walls. May it never stop rebuilding. It may not happen overnight, but you’re making a difference already by challenging the status quo.

You’ll be fine. You’re already so strong. You’ll be even stronger. Hope is coming home.

Yours truly,


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Thinkstock photo via Wavebreakmedia Ltd.

Originally published: March 24, 2017
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