When I think back on my life and wonder how I managed to find reasons to continue living despite my chronic illness, I go back to all the support I have received from the people that surround me. It took me a while to realize my illness was categorized as a chronic illness, I never understood why I had sub-abdominal obstructions and constant pain, but I simply live day by day. Despite the illness I've been living with for 22 years, I always got frustrated, sad, angry and anxious but most importantly felt like my disease was consuming me. They think people with chronic illnesses are fighters with a positive attitude, but the truth is it's impossible to always remain positive, you just learn how to live with pain. There are an immense amount of things I would like to say to my illness: why are you always there? It never allows me to catch my breath. I feel physically and emotionally drained. Sometimes I feel like a bag of bones walking through life. I don’t know how much time I am going to be like this, maybe an hour, maybe two, maybe 6 months or maybe just a second until the next episode strikes again. But what I would really like to write about is the people in my life, my family, especially my parents (Rose and Sven), my sisters (Nicole and Luise), my friends and my boyfriend that help me get through this pain, the reason I am alive and the reason I fight every day. So this is for them:
You sit beside me whenever I get hospitalized. You'll hold my hand when I'm in immense pain, and tears are dripping down my face. You pick me up when I'm scared, when I can no longer see a light, when I can no longer see anything besides the pain that's consuming me. You give me heating pads when my stomach is on fire, get me electrolytes to stay hydrated when my mind has too much pain for me to deal with. You run baths to help me detox. You bring me water or meals I can tolerate when I can barely make it out of bed. You continue to encourage me to continue when I don't know how to do it. You continue to remind me that I am more than my illness, that I deserve the life of my dreams, that I am worth so much more. You contain your tears so I don't see them. You act silly in the hospital just to see me smile, but most importantly you are always there. You continue to amaze me when things get pretty hard. You always manage to make me feel like the luckiest person alive because you are always there.
I know my parents suffer, I continually hear them say they would do anything to make the pain stop, that they would give everything for them to be in my place. Although that's not possible I understand it. I know this illness doesn't affect only me but my entire family, my friends and my boyfriend. I know you are all tired and frustrated of seeing me in pain, but I am nothing but grateful that you fight my battles with me. You all fighting next to me is the reason I am alive and continue to fight. I believe that support is so important when it comes to chronic illnesses because they can make what seems like the worse become the best. At the end of the day, I have the fortune to have such amazing people around me. This week I'll be going through a delicate surgery but somehow the support makes me realize that they are the reason I will do everything I can to get healthy as quickly as possible. At the end of the day, nothing is as bad as it seems with people that love you and support you.
Thank you to Karin from @mysupportgroup for writing this amazing article for us. You can follow karin at www.instagram.com/mysupportgroup