Today is one of those bad days.
You are curled up into a ball on the floor; your tears soaking into the carpet. You are crying so hard that you heave, and you cannot bear to stand up with a fear of falling straight down. The nausea is really bad today, and you have tried everything to relieve yourself from it, with no success. We have gone from eating consistently, to not eating at all.
You are planning your Goodbye Letters in your head, and you are telling yourself that you cannot go on another second with these symptoms.
You want to feel nothing, for once, instead of everything.
You have every right to feel this way.
Life never used to be like this.
I remember when things were much simple; where you had the strength to work ten overnight shifts in a row, and overtime. Night was day, and day was night.
They asked you to work on your day off, and you said yes every single time.
You worked when you were sick, and you worked when they weren’t even paying you to work.
The days went quickly and were jam-packed.
You were driving, going on roadtrips, Sunday breakfast dates, shopping days, you slept on the beach and woke up covered in sand at 3am. You were eating as you pleased, and had a bright future in mind for yourself.
You smiled more back then.
I guess you, nor I, ever imagined that something like this could happen, and that things would drastically change in the blink of an eye.
All of the things you used to worry about – not having enough money saved, having to work, being late, the petty little arguments with people – none of it matters now. We have been faced with bigger problems.
I know your mentality is being compromised, and you think it is easier to leave and give up, but I need you to stop for a second and just breathe.
I need you to see what I see.
I see strength.
I know you hate hearing that, but you ARE strong.
I can assure you that most people would not cope as well as you are with chronic nausea, stomach pain and dizziness; not to mention being stuck behind four walls, losing your job, the endless appointments and tests, and lack of answers…
I see someone who still manages to put others before yourself.
I see someone who can still laugh, even on the crappiest of days.
I see someone who is ambitious and continues to push their body to strengthen, no matter how weak they feel.
You say that you have made no accomplishments this year, but my dear, grief has clouded your vision.
Pre-illness-you could only make toast.
In the time you have been off, you have learnt to cook many meals and desserts… things you would not have had the patience for before.
You stress less about the smaller things, whereas before, you were one giant walking stress web.
Six months ago, you couldn’t get out of bed and you were eating zero day in and day out. Today, you are walking better, and for most days, you are able to eat consistently.
You may not have travelled, you may not have graduated, you may not go out partying every week or go on adventures with friends, or be working in your dream job, BUT you have grown up quicker than most people your age and I promise you that you are wiser than they.
You appreciate the smaller things that they are too busy to see, and once all of this is over, your love for life will be greater than your hate for this illness.
I am amazed by your ability to function with these symptoms.
I am astounded by your bravery, and wish you could see how much inner strength you have. When we beat this, not if, I hope you know that you can face anything thrown your way.
I know that the symptoms have prevented you from driving, travelling alone and engaging with others, but it does not for a second mean you are selfish, lazy, weak or a disappointment.
Stop wasting your time on the people who are telling you this; the ones who don’t message you back, or make you feel unimportant.
PLEASE, stop telling yourself that you are unattractive.
Your body has been to hell and back, and considering, I think you look quite good for a sick person. You have fat on your body now, rather than being riddled with bones. Your skin may have changed, and your hair is frail and falling out, but you are still beautiful.
You are measuring yourself up to people who hide their average features behind a veil of makeup.
Now here’s a touchy topic…
You better still be listening.
You are sitting there, feeling sorry for yourself, alone, and struggling to see how someone could love you with this illness.
And you are actually repeating to yourself, “how can somebody love me with this illness?”
Nobody loves you any less. Your true friends and family know who you are and that your illness unfortunately dims your light.
They might not know what to say at times, but I promise they want you to beat this as much as you do.
And, they will help you if you simply ask for it.
They want to see that smile reappear, as much as I, and they will help you in any way that they can.
Don’t listen to anyone who has told you that you are a burden, unlovable and will be alone.
You ARE loved, and you ARE lovable whether or not you have this illness. There is someone out there who doesn’t care about driving you to appointments or waiting with you through tests; someone who will listen to you cry on the worst of days and give you a reason to smile; someone doesn’t mind if you have to stay in for the night instead of going out, and would be happy to link arms with you when you are dizzy; someone who will lie with you when you are feeling nauseous, and give you massages when your body aches; someone who knows what you can and can’t eat, and who will do thoughtful things for you just because.
You WILL get married, move out, and one day you are going to be a wonderful mother who knows the ins and outs of the medical system (and you will definitely need to know that if you end up having those three boys you are dreaming of…)
I know today is hard, and I know the past few weeks have been hard.
Do what you can, and if you have to cancel on someone to rest, then so be it.
I know you are tired of making progress and then falling backwards time and time again.
Do not feel like you have to justify yourself to anyone, or come up with answers that you don’t have.
I know that today you are struggling to find a reason to stay, and I know how alone you feel.
Do not let the anger consume you.
I know that you fear this is neverending, and you’d like to end it all yourself right now.
Do not feel rushed to achieve all at once, or to get better.
I can feel you clutching at your last straw.
We may never reach 100%, remember.
We may never receive the answers we are desperately seeking, but we must continue to try.
We still have Specialists on our side who still believe.
Medicine is only advancing.
We still have some time.
If anyone can do this, it’s YOU.
We’ll take it one step at a time, I promise, and if nobody wants to come along for the ride, we will always have each other.
Love from Me.