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Why I'm Thanking Both the Supporters and Disbelievers of My Illness

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I feel as if I don’t say this enough, but thank you.

Thank you for being my rock. Thank you for being there for me no matter what was going on. Thank you for motivating me when I am weak and feel like giving up. Mostly, thank you for believing in me when others lost hope.

To my parents: Thank you for believing in me when I lost hope in myself and when others lost hope in me. Thank you for shaping me and helping me become the best possible person I can be. I can’t thank you enough for all you both have done. From staying with me for eight months in the hospital without going home, to being there when I just need a good cry and let all the tears out, but also to the happy moments in life.

Thank you for believing me when I said there was something wrong with my stomach and for fighting with the doctors when they said there was nothing wrong. Because you didn’t give up when they said they could no longer help me, you helped me survive some of the most challenging nights. You gave me a chance to live. You not only helped guide me in life, but you have also supported the decisions I have made, whether or not they were the best ones or if they were good decisions. Thank you for all you have done for me, for supporting me, and for caring.

To the person who showed me life was worth living: Thank you. Thank you for showing me my life has value and that I am important. Thank you for helping me learn what it feels like to be happy for the first time in forever and what it feels like to be wanted. Thank you for giving me a reason to wake up each morning with a smile on my face. Thank you for being there when I was at my weakest point I have ever been. I can’t thank you enough for never leaving me when things got really tough.

erin noonan
Erin and one of her paintings

Rather than telling me what I can’t accomplish, you believe in me and encourage me to keep going and to follow my dreams even if they may seem far-fetched. You have helped show me all the positives life has to offer and a whole new perspective on the world. I am no longer afraid to trust people nor myself. I now realize that not everyone who enters my life will leave. There are people who stay and those people who stay are the people who matter. Thank you for giving me hope and a reason. Lastly, I thank you for showing me there is such a thing as happiness and for loving me when I couldn’t love myself.

To the disbelievers: I just want to say thank you for not believing in me. I say thank you to that because by not believing in me, you gave me a reason to fight, a reason to prove you all wrong, a reason to define the odds. Your harsh words motivate me to get better and to become the best person I possibly can. Your words give me strength to get through the day. I am not a person who gives up easily and it gives me the extra push to get through a hard day. Although I am not fighting solely to prove you wrong, it certainly helps. So thank you for motivating me to get through the hard days.

Lastly, to everyone else: I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been supportive and by my side through everything I have endured. Your support and love means the world to me. I wouldn’t be able to get through each day as well as I do without the support and kindness you have given me. So for that, I thank you.

The Mighty is asking its readers the following: Write a thank you letter to someone you realize you don’t thank enough. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

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Originally published: April 27, 2016
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