Invisible Battles

Even though I’ve dealt with chronic health issues my entire life, I still struggle a lot with accepting them as part of my identity. It’s pride, really. I work hard and weakness or admitting I can’t do something is very difficult.

I want to be perfect. But I am not.

This poem was written a couple weeks ago, and I’d like to share it. I know that many of you guys deal with similar chronic illnesses – and your stories have always encouraged me. I hope that mine can add to that chorus.

~

For me, chronic illness is juggling
Too many balls at once
It’s fixing something only for it to come back around again and I can’t keep up

It’s finding a remedy for a virus that wrecks havoc on my digestion for weeks
Until I can let the dizzy spells from going off antidepressants take over
And when they’ve subsided the fall allergies come in full force
While work gets busy and extra hours leave my back hunched and aching.

Do you know what it’s like –
To have a long line of assailants waiting for you to stand up so they can knock you back down again?
And again and again

Some days are good days
I can breathe. Through my nose. Deeply in my lungs without wheezing.
I can stay on my feet, walk without needing to collapse.

But this month has been a bad day
And I’m tired
Sometimes it’s too much energy just to keep doing the things I know will help
Sleep. Healthy food. Hot bath. Pills, taken. Diffuser, on.
The extra things take a lot on the bad days
And on the good days, I just want to forget how much work it takes to live

I don’t expect these things will stop knocking me down.
I don’t expect I’ll ever stop wishing I could do more, be more.

But today I am enough.
And I can promise that for as many times as they knock me down
I’ll get back up just as many times
And once more.

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