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To the Girl I Once Knew, Before Chronic Illness

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To the girl I once knew,

You were vibrant, full of life, daring, adventurous, spontaneous. You could explore nature’s beauty with ease. You could devour anything you set your eyes on. You always surprised yourself with the amount of strength you built through all those endless hours spent in the gym. You used to enjoy hours walking through the malls with your best friend and your mom. You could be out all night long and not have to pay for it the next day.

You didn’t have to worry about waking up with swollen joints because you were on your feet for far too long the day before. You didn’t have a personal pharmacy in your purse. You didn’t have a calendar full of endless doctor appointments. You didn’t wake up every morning with never-ending aches and throbs all throughout your body. You didn’t have to second guess whether or not you could eat your favorite burger or pizza. You didn’t have to pass up on your favorite alcoholic beverage before. You never had to worry about what new side effects could come from a new medication.

Then, quicker than you could process it, your life was changing drastically. Every week seemed to bing a new challenge.

As I type this and reminisce about those carefree, easy days, I cannot help but to miss you dearly. I miss you, and as silly as it sounds, I envy you. I envy you because man, you had it so good and you weren’t even aware of it. You were not aware of the beauty in having a healthy, normal life. You truly didn’t know the value of feeling energized, and most significantly the incredible pleasure of a deep sleep.

Although those days and that girl are long gone, it is OK. You had to change and learn to adapt to this new life. With this new life has come significant waves of depression, anxiety, fluctuation of weight, and an endless amount of hair loss.

But through all the hardship, you should see what you’ve become. You’d be damn proud, and you better be impressed. Yeah, sure some days all you can manage to do is shower and lay in bed, or some days all you can eat are cucumbers and yogurt. But, you have become so incredibly strong. I cannot express how strong you are now, you never would have guessed. You fight every single day.

No matter what new hurdle you are faced with, you wake up every single day and put every ounce of strength into the day, and you damn sure seize it. You are human, and you do have your days where you cannot put in a fight, and this is where the most incredible people in your life are here to help carry you through. You have been blessed with the people in your life. You never cease to constantly amaze people with your strength. Every day, you become stronger and stronger.

My hope for you is that you continue to grow and continue to become stronger.

So, to the girl I used to once know, thank you for being so fearless, exquisite, kind and bright. If it weren’t for you, I don’t think I would’ve turned into the woman I am today.

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Thinkstock Image By: Viktor_Gladkov

Originally published: June 19, 2017
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