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To the People Supporting Me, From the Girl With the Chronic Illness

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You don’t have to be sorry. This isn’t your fault. Finally having a diagnosis is the best thing ever, but there’s no reason to say “sorry.” I’ve felt this way for months, years, days. Nothing has changed. The only thing different is, I have a diagnosis. It’s something to be happy about. Yes, I cried. They were tears of relief and not knowing what is next. The days to come are going to be the same. I’m going to have good days and bad days. Now we can better treat my symptoms. Yes, I’m getting more symptoms and they are worsening. Please don’t be sorry. Don’t blame yourself for this. Yes, the doctor told us that since I didn’t have any kind of injury, it was genetics. And since you have been sick your entire life, you blamed yourself. This isn’t your fault. This is who I am, I’m learning to cope with it now.

Family members,

Thank you for all your well wishes and positive vibes. You don’t have to say the famous quotem “Get better soon!” because in reality, I won’t. What I have is life-long, hence the term “chronic.” I know you all mean well and want me to feel better. But please don’t say those three simple words. They are great from someone who has something that’s cure-able, but I don’t have that. I know you want me to be who I used to be, the happy, energetic kid at all the family gatherings. That’s not me anymore. That’s what chronic illnesses can do to you. Yes, all the family gatherings centered around food are going to be tough for me, but with your support I can get through this.

Old friends,

I know I’m not the person I used to be, thank you to the ones that stuck around. You all knew I was slowly getting a little sicker since you first met me, but you must have thought nothing of it. Until it took over my life. I’m sorry that I medical stuff was all I had to talk about for a little while. I couldn’t think of anything else to talk about. (The brain fog is real.) You left me alone for a while and I understand why. I was boring. I couldn’t go out and do “normal” college things. I’m sorry for that, but I hope you understand why I can’t do those things now.

New friends,

Thank you for ignoring my medical issues and pretending they’re not a thing. Thank you for understanding that I can’t stay out still 2 a.m. Thank you to the one person who understands all the medical stuff and will sit and listen to me complain about doctors and symptoms for hours. You all mean the world to me. You all knew that I wasn’t completely healthy when you met me, but thanks for sticking around when you didn’t have to.

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Thinkstock Image By: Natalia-flurno

Originally published: May 3, 2017
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