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To Anyone Who Doesn't Like Admitting They Can't Do Something Due to Their Illness

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Most people know I don’t give up easily and I don’t like to admit something is too much for me to handle. In the last five years of having complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), I can count on one hand how many times I have given up on something due to my illness.

For the first time in a long time, I had to admit that I just could not do it. I have been unable to get my treatment due to being away at college, but I thought I would be fine working during the summer at the same job I had last year. I could not have been more wrong. I came home that night in the worst pain I had been in in a while, my joints ached, nothing could brush against my skin without feeling like razor blades, I had a headache, I was overheated, and at that moment, I could feel my body giving up on me. I knew that if I didn’t quit until I received my treatment, it would only get worse from there.

I dreaded making the phone call to my boss saying I could not continue at the moment. He completely understood and said health comes first, but I couldn’t believe I had just admitted not to myself, but to my parents and boss that I could not continue to work with my current health status. I have always had the determination to continue when I didn’t think I could and I usually always made it. There are a lot of people who have it a lot worse, yet they manage to work through it every day.

Then a little voice in the back of my head spoke up and said that because I admitted that I couldn’t work, it made me a stronger person. It takes a lot of courage to speak up and feel as though you are not strong enough to make it through.

So what does it mean to admit you just can’t do it?

It means you’re strong and courageous, you’re honest and you know your limits. Knowing your limits is better than working yourself so hard you pay for it for days after. You know your strengths and weaknesses. It means you are willing to accept your defeats which allows you to cherish your wins. It means you know your health should always come first. You do not care about what people say about your decision because you know that decision is what’s best for you. It even means you are considerate because you know how much you have to push yourself to make it through each day and that others are doing the same. It means you are human; nobody is perfect and nobody can do everything. If you don’t like to admit you can’t do it because you want to fit in or be like you friends, when you admit you can’t do it, you are fitting in because we are all human.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s the hardest thing you deal with as someone with a chronic illness, and how do you face this? What advice and words of support would you offer someone facing the same thing? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: June 2, 2016
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