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What to Remember on Days Your Illness Makes You Feel Like Giving Up

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Dear You,

You are absolutely right. This does suck, it’s not fair, you do deserve better. This is not what you had planned and you would have done more if you had been given the chance. But you weren’t given that chance and my heart breaks for you.

I won’t tell you it gets easier or better. You probably wouldn’t believe me if I did and let’s face it, it may not get easier. It may not get better. It may get harder and it may get worse. I won’t tell you not to lose hope, that one day there will be a cure for your incurable illnesses, that you need to be strong and try new treatments as they become available. I won’t tell you not to lose hope when they don’t work.


I won’t tell you this is all part of some plan, that it’s for the best. I won’t tell you this will make you a better and stronger person or that what you’re going through is a lesson of some sort. I won’t play the comparison game and tell you “at least it’s not (insert something here).” You’re smarter than that.

I won’t tell you to be grateful for what you have and to be thankful you’re as lucky as you are. I won’t guilt and shame you into putting on a smile because “you’re depressing everyone around you.” So what? Feel what you need to feel.

I won’t tell you to exercise more or eat better. I won’t tell you to get a better night’s sleep and to stop napping. I won’t tell you about this pill my aunt’s cousin’s best friend’s father took for a completely unrelated condition and that it cured him. You’ve had enough false hope to last you a lifetime.

I will tell you that you are brave. Most people wouldn’t be able to do what you do on a daily basis. You have made it through 100 percent of your bad days and you are capable of making it through this one too. Cry, if you need to. Scream into a pillow. Talk to a friend. Have a photoshoot with your dog. Find one thing that will make this day bearable. Find it and do it. You owe it to yourself.

I know it’s overwhelming. I also know you can do it. I know that, just for today, you can do it. Just for today, you can find the strength. Just for today, you can be hopeful. Just for today, you can hang in there. One day at a time. I believe in you.

I love you.

You are worth it.


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Thinkstock photo via FrancescoCorticchia.

Originally published: October 1, 2017
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