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A Breakup Letter to My Life-Altering Stomach Condition

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Dear Gastroparesis,

I hate being your slave.

You are so demanding and such a control freak. You want what you want, when you want it, and you never even ask my opinion. I make plans, and you cancel them. I try to complete chores, but you sap my strength and demand I focus only on you. I try to eat, but you are full. I want to sleep, but you keep me up all night with your grumbling. You demand my complete attention and all my time and energy. Well, I tell you, I have had just about enough, and I really think it’s high time for you to leave.


You keep me prisoner in my own home. I have lost my social life because of you. I can rarely go out with my family and friends for a meal, or a movie, or even a simple walk in the park. No, you won’t have that. You make sure I have no clothes that fit and no energy to do my hair and makeup. I barely look presentable. And on the rare occasions you do allow me to leave home, you make certain I don’t stay out for long. You punish me if I try.

I dread coming back home because I know you will be waiting for me, ready to inflict your pain and abuse. I will have to endure your wrath for days for such indiscretion. It is hardly worth leaving.

At first, I thought I could reason with you. If you only knew how much you were hurting me, I thought, you would surely stop. But you don’t care, and in fact, you seem to get more abusive as time goes by.

Then I thought maybe I could appease you if I only behaved myself. I have tried to be good. I eat only what you tell me to, take the proper medications, follow your training regimen to the letter — but it’s not enough. So, I have come to the conclusion you simply must go. We are no good for each other, and this relationship clearly cannot last long-term.

I would like to say I will miss you, that I am sorry, that you will take a piece of my heart with you when you go, but, the truth is I will be glad when you are gone. I don’t think I will miss you for a second.

I will say, though, despite all the pain you have caused me, there have actually been a few positives to our relationship. They can’t make up for all the bad, but they do help me feel as if our association hasn’t been a complete waste of time.

For one thing, you have taught me compassion. Before you came along I thought I knew all about kindness and caring, but I was mistaken. Since you have come into my life, my eyes have been opened to incredible suffering and agony, and I have learned it cannot be ignored.

When I see it in others now, my heart goes out to them in ways it never could before. It gives the phrase “I feel your pain” new meaning.

Because of you, I have met so many people and made so many friends — albeit online-only friends due to the jail cell to which I have been confined. But I have formed deep friendships that will last a lifetime. I now know the kindest, most caring, compassionate people in the world, thanks to you. The bonds I have forged can never be broken.

Thanks to you, my faith is stronger than ever. It has to be. If I didn’t believe there was something better waiting for me, somewhere out there in the future, I don’t think I could make it through the day. It sounds crazy, I know, but I have a sense of hope now that was missing from my life before. I believe something better awaits me, and I have a deep peace about the future that I never had before you came into my life.

Lastly, you have given me the gift of purpose. It is crystal clear to me now why I am here and what I must do. I am an advocate, and I will not rest until I help the many people you have tried to tear down with your relentless cruelty. No, I am not the first person you have mistreated, and I am sure I will not be the last. But they will know about you now. They will know your history and your wicked ways. They will know you mean to destroy them and steal their lives. I will not stop until you are alone, empty and wholly defeated.


No I will not shed a tear when I banish you from my life, though we have spent much time together. You have been my companion, but you have been a miserable one — one I will not welcome back into my life again. So, please pack your belongings and don’t look back. You are no longer welcome here.

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Originally published: March 12, 2015
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