Survivor: A letter to everyone I know

I started this blog as an anonymous blog so it can be both a way for me to express myself and as a realistic reference for the people out there who think they can relate to me. I want to be able to use my love for writing as means for people who can’t express their true feelings. So please, if you think any of this expresses how you really feel, feel free to share all of it or parts of it with people you care about.

I will also be using this post to express myself to my family, friends and everyone I know in hope that some things become clearer about me.

 

What it’s like to live with anemia

Being diagnosed with anemia a long time ago, has become a lifestyle for me, rather than a challenge. To every one around me, it may seem like the easiest thing in the world, but to me it’s more. Low energy levels, constant feeling of weakness and restlessness, dizziness, shortness of breath, cold hands and feet, etc.

Generally, it’s not the healthiest you can be, but yet, people with anemia suffer so hard to keep their pace with everyday life.

 

What it’s like to live with chronic fatigue

Chronic fatigue is a syndrome that actually exists. The person experiences lasting extreme fatigue and tiredness that doesn’t go away with rest. Now, how would you feel about that? Imagine having 10 hours of sleep, and waking up as unrefreshed and as unenergetic as if you haven’t gotten any. That is, if you are able to sleep well in the first place. Ironically, chronic fatigue can cause insomnia and other sleep disorders. With all that comes muscle pain, frequent headaches and migraines, loss of concentration and most importantly, the thing that affects you the most socially is mood swings!

Well, for patients diagnosed with this syndrome, that is all their family and friends see! And it isn’t easy for them either having to put up with the countless mood swings. Let alone, all the times we have canceled our plans with you because of severe and unexplainable fatigue, right?

 

What it’s like to live with irritable bowel syndrome

I will try to keep the symptoms of this syndrome as simple as possible to avoid unnecessary information for the person who has to put up with someone who has it. If you do have it, there are plenty of good resources to check online that explain exactly what the symptoms are. This post is a letter to our family and friends, in an attempt to let them know exactly how it feels on the inside.

IBS is an awful syndrome that can leave the patient in a state of complete anxiousness and restlessness. Constant abdominal pain and cramping, lack of energy, persistent feeling of sickness, mood swings, anxiety, the symptoms are endless.

It is not easy having any type of relationship with someone who has serious IBS but that doesn’t mean that the patient is someone you should be avoiding and throwing guilt at constantly.

 

Yes, I understand that you, family and friends put up a lot with us but we do too, more than you can imagine. We are the ones experiencing these symptoms 24/7 and forcing ourselves to act normal and pretend like nothing is wrong. And, even if we do it half of the time, that’s already too long for us. Imagine being constantly subject to mood swings, with no apparent reason, imagine wanting to do everything in the world and accomplish big things, but being limited by your health- let alone all other difficulties life throws at you. You start to wonder how people do it, how people work so hard and yet make plans at night. If you experience these symptoms, there’s nothing wrong with you; your health is just not giving you the best environment to flourish.

 

This post is also a letter of apology to every one who has to put up with us on a daily basis, just know we are trying. The best compliment we can get is that you like how often we wear that smile on our faces and not that we ruined this and that moment. We already feel that we are, every single second. Please, just please, don’t add to the guilt, try to appreciate the effort that we do, no matter how hard it might be.

 

And to all the people who have understood what we go through and have been there for support and strength; thank you! You are the real heroes, not us! You put up with us 24/7, still manage to smile through the pain with us and most importantly still find a way to make us feel worth it.

 

Generally, I have always been told that I am a happy person who’s always smiling, but lately that’s been changing from the point of view of many people. It might be that they have put up with me for a long time or maybe my symptoms are just getting worse. But this is a promise from me that I’ll only try harder, in order to still be perceived as the happy person I like to be, the happy person I’ve always been, despite all the symptoms mentioned above.

 

This is not a letter full of negativity as many of you will understand, but yes, surprisingly this is what hope is to me. These conditions are something I cannot change, but have to learn to live with. You have to accept them just as I have learned to accept them too. Accept me, accept us or just leave room for people who will. After all, with all that we feel, we are still here for you when you come to us with your troubles and difficulties. We don’t need more negativity, nor blame, nor guilt. You’re the ones who are making it harder to smile by not appreciating how much we already do.

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