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It's OK to Feel the Hard Emotions That Come With Chronic Illness

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I figured it out. It’s pretty simple actually, how to throw up with the least amount of discomfort.

All you have to do is chug as much water as you can, and when it comes up there’s a flood of water and everything is mixed in with it or follows directly after, so you don’t have to deal with the awful textures that come up with your half-digested food. It’s like I broke the system…I beat it.

It’s at this point that I realize how odd I am. I be must weird to find tricks and loopholes with being sick and throwing up.

But alas, I’m not weird. I’m just severely ill.

You see, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis in January 2017, after I got my failed gallbladder removed. I’ve been battling my first initial flare ever since. What would usually be considered questionable and irregular, has become my definition of “normal.” I’ve finally reached my acceptance phase.

When I was diagnosed, I had no idea what this gastroparesis was. Surely, it must not be a big deal.

After many tests and hospitalizations, I have come to learn that slowed down and paralyzed intestines are not like your typical cold or flu. Daily naps, or even multiple naps a day are expected. For after a few hours of waking up in the morning, being severely lethargic is part of it all. Loss of memory and weakness follows. And let’s not forget the vomiting. I have found myself on the floor in front of the toilet more than I’m in my bed. The bathroom floor has actually become my bed.

My friends are used to it. They don’t flinch or question when I say I’ll be right back, I’m going to go throw up for a hot sec. No one worries when I’m in bed or in pain. It’s normal, right?

No. It’s not. Gastroparesis is debilitating. It hurts. It leaves me in the midst of deep depression, knowing that functioning is not something I can easily do. Honestly, it just really sucks. Feeling weak like a zombie every day really just sucks.

I never thought I was allowed to complain or be upset with any of my conditions. But I’m wrong.

We are allowed to feel. We are allowed to be upset. I am writing now because I have come to the realization that it’s OK. It’s perfectly OK to feel stressed, upset, and frustrated with what we are enduring. What we have is tough. We shouldn’t expect ourselves to just push through and ignore these feelings. They are as real as our disease.

So, take a step back and take a deep breath. Relax. It’s OK. You are here and you are fighting. But while you’re thinking about your struggles, remember what I just said: You are fighting.

We are all warriors in the everlasting battle against our insides, and that’s OK. We will triumph. We will overcome. Why? Because we are The Mighty.

So for now, take a step back, close your eyes, and breathe.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock Image By: AndreyPopov

Originally published: April 23, 2017
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