Compared to the average person, my days are not hectic or full of duties to get done in a couple hours. However, each task is time consuming and tiring. Making dinner, taking a shower, walking a couple blocks, cleaning, it can take the whole day to get done. If I find that one day I have a lot of energy but spend it too quickly, I have to spend a couple days recovering. My mind isn’t as sharp as it use to be. I forget things easily and my mental speed has slowed. I feel pain everyday. I wake up stressed physically, most mornings. I’m bloated and tired. Sometimes sleep isn’t restful. This is what it’s like living with an autoimmune disease.
Some people think this is all in our heads or that we will recover tomorrow. But the truth is: we do not know what the future holds but day by day this is a reality for people that live with an autoimmune disease.
I’m not looking for pity but understanding. I want people to understand why I forget who they are after meeting them. Why I don’t hang out with friends like the average 20 something year old. Why people with autoimmune illnesses struggle just to live a normal life.
Those that suffer never want pity, we want understanding. We also don’t want you to underestimate us. I’m learning that I will have to let go and let God and relax some days. I’m learning that there is a tomorrow and if not, then there is nothing to worry about in the first place. Worrying is pointless. Planning is also pointless. There are days when we can’t fulfill our duties or days when circumstances say other wise. It is possible God might have something else for us to do. Either way, for people with an any kind of chronic illness, it’s always a day at a time. We find strength from God and each other. I’m also learning that there is nothing in life that can prevent me from seeking God. There is nothing that takes away from who he is.
All in all, despite the challenges life throws at us, we should never give up. We should never stop dreaming and always make time to relax and enjoy life as fragile and precious as it is.