Dear healthy people

Dear healthy people,

I love you and appreciate you and I want for you to feel the same about me. I know you get frustrated by my limitations and I know that you sometimes wonder if I am faking or exaggerating my symptoms. I know it seems weird that one day I look completely fine and the next day I can’t get off the couch, but I promise you these symptoms are real.

Not a day goes by that I don’t wish for being healthy and for the ability  to do what you can do, but that is not a wish I have been granted, and most likely I never will. You see, I have a chronic illness which means it will never go away. Some days are better than others. Some days I wake up and I have some energy and I’m able to pretend like everything is okay, but some days I wake up and I feel terrible. Remember the worst flu you have ever had. Remember the exhaustion and the achiness and the misery you felt. Now imagine feeling that way every day for the rest of your life, imagine that feeling will never go away. Now imagine how that would make you feel. Would it make you happy or sad? Would you feel positive all the time? Would you be able to keep a full time job? Would you be the life of the party? Would you be able to live a completely normal life, feeling like that forever? Well that is my world. Every day I get up and I hurt, and yet I maintain a mostly positive attitude. I try to live as normal a life as possible. I have a family, I have friends, I volunteer in the community, but I can not and will not ever be able to be normal. I will never meet all your expectations, instead I have to meet mine and my expectations are different then a healthy person. I expect to live a joyful life, I expect to have accomplishments, but they will never be the same as yours and they probably won’t ever look like much compared to yours.

So dear healthy person, all I ask is that you put yourself in my shoes and think about how you would deal if you were in my place. Please be patient with me and I promise I’ll be patient with you. I will do my best to do all the things that you need me to do, but sometimes my health will cause me to fall short. Sometimes I am going to have bad days, sometimes I am going to have a hard time being positive. On those days I just need your love and support so I can get through, because sometimes that is what chronic illness is, just surviving until you can get through. So please join me on this journey because I need you and because maybe, just maybe you need me too.

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