I can understand how drastic that sounds. And negative, someone close has commented. Actually, most 82 year olds are out living their life, popping calcium pills. So, really, no, it’s not that drastic. You just feel like you’re in someone else’s body. I’d say old, but I believe no one grows old, just more young at heart. Age is just a number and we need to stop living our life around that particular number. THAT is negative. You know that saying, “Act your age, not your shoe size”? I’d be 9. So, cut yourself some slack. Turn back time a little–just don’t Hand-Jive or Disco yourself into a brace and/or coma. Do whatever you have to do to get yourself to realize you have so much life in you. And so much to give.
Whether we accept it or not, our body ages as the years go on. Some of us age more quickly, some you can never guess that they’re 60, but they truly look 30. That’s exactly how it is with someone who is chronically ill. You may be 22, but you don’t look it. People will say “Stop talking that nonsense” and you just wish they could see yourself through your eyes, because maybe, maybe they’d understand, even just a little. You don’t recognize yourself in the mirror anymore. You’re hair thins, becomes brittle. Your eyes look like you were punched in the face a few times, the purple circles never going away. Makeup doesn’t cover your blemishes that have been collecting more and more in groups. Your knees quiver going up and down the stairs. Your hands shake. Easy tasks become harder, like opening jars, bottle caps, carrying the laundry, doing the dishes. You feel like you’re just going to collapse. Collapse from never stopping, just non–stop adrenaline that is currently keeping you from feeling the pain. And yet, you pretend you’re okay with it. Yeah, I’m 22. But this is not my body.
I guess it is for the best that no one can see exactly how you see yourself, how you feel. Friends and loved ones may not understand, but you certainly don’t want them experiencing symptom to symptom with you. But, in a way, they are. They see when you are in pain, when you’re buckled over and you don’t know why. When you sit at the dinner table and don’t touch your food because you feel too sick to even try a bite. When they watch you struggling and taking your time to sit down, sit up, walk to wherever you’re trying to get to at that moment. When you just don’t have the least bit of energy in you to make it to a family outing. They are fighting this fight with you, whether you want them to or not. It’s not just hard for you, it’s hard for them to watch the person, the one they love, grow up through the years, only to come to a stop. A brief stop, yet it feels like this will last forever. And that whole “22 going on 82” feeling or whatever age you may be, but certainly don’t agree with, it goes away. It eventually starts to lessen. You may not feel 100% or even 85%, but it’s better than no improvement. And any improvement is good.
Thanks to doctors just throwing out different diagnosis like they’re candy, there are many people that are never correctly diagnosed until their symptoms start taking over their life. That’s why we feel the way we do. Lost, scared, hopeless, and feeling older than we actually are. No one can give you a straight answer why you feel this way. “No, it’s not Lyme Disease.” “You’re just depressed.” “It’s only IBS.” –Need I go on? We hear these negative words thrown at us so often, of course you’re going to start to wonder “Maybe it is all in my head…” And you’ll believe it. You’ll start believing that this is it, you’re going to be sick forever, and before you know it, you’re in a rut you can’t pull yourself out of. But, what can pull us out? And even better, what will? Just knowing you came this far, isn’t that enough? Can it be enough for you? Yes, and it will.
As I have mentioned before, never take a day of your life for granted, no matter how horrible you may feel, how old you may feel, how bad it gets, even if you’re bedridden—you’re still fighting. You are. That muscle that never stops working (even if you’ve already given up on yourself), pumping blood throughout our entire body, is still beating. That is your answer. If your heart is still beating, you’re still fighting. There’s no reason to give up on something so pure, so amazing, that’s getting us through and will continue to get us through this difficult path our feet are currently bound to.
This body, it might not feel like it’s yours, but it is. It always has been and just like marriage vows, “Through sickness and in health”, we need to respect our bodies, love our bodies, even through the darkest of days.
Healing thoughts and prayers to all-
Note: I am not yet 22, though I felt this was the approprate time to post it.