At first glance, it wouldn’t appear that I’d be battling an illness. After all, I look healthy. I act healthy. Therefore, I must be healthy, even when I say I’m not.
About two days ago, I decided to talk to an old friend of mine again. Sticking to my resolution, I told him the truth; that for the past six months, I’d been dealing with an illness. He simply responded that I seemed fine.
Jokingly, I told him I’m good at acting, to which he responded with something along the lines of, “good at acting sick and helpless.” I have always found it easier to explode than to try to understand, so I did just that. I got angry and said things I didn’t really mean.
Throughout my lifetime, if I’m being honest, I’ve dealt with a lot, my greatest battles being internal. I’ve been searching a long time for a place I fit in; a place where I could simply be without being criticized for it. I had been unhappy for such a long time that it seemed almost as if it were my identity.
For the past two years, I’ve had a lot of time to think about things and I’ve become a much happier person, I believe. I’ve become stronger and more grounded. I’ve learnt many things about myself and others. I’ve learnt that ignoring your problems won’t make them go away. I’ve learnt that there are still people out there who genuinely care. I’ve also learnt that some people just don’t.
For sometime, I’d been friends with people that I never quite felt a connection with. I’ve always wanted to be surrounded by people who understood me and cared about me because it sure didn’t feel like those around me did. It seemed as if everyone else had found a place in this world, and I was always falling behind.
When I’d been dealing with anxiety, it was a real struggle. Now that I’m dealing with physical illness, it still has been a struggle to get some people to take me seriously. There were times where I’ve seen blatant disregard, and those experiences still plague my mind from time to time. But as time goes on, the more I realize that there’s no point in trying to get people to understand or care about something they’ve never felt or experiences.
Although it is difficult, I still try to put myself in their shoes. I always try to remind myself that I am not perfect; that I have my own faults too. But often times I forget this, and I crack and get too angry before thinking things through. Remember friends, although it may seem easier to hate than to love, love is always the answer.
Now I see that there are people out there who really do understand. I write to connect with those people, and to say the things I never could. I’ve come to terms with my illness, and I fully accept that there will be good days and bad days, and that there will be people who simply do not understand. To whoever is struggling with illness, always remember that your feelings are valid. Your pain is real, and I pray that someday, there will be an end to it.
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