Dear Chronic Illness,
You and I have had a rocky relationship the last nine years. I have cried out “my body hates me” more times than I would like to admit as there have been moments consumed with defeat and betrayal. Everything I thought my body was supposed to do seemed to fail. I lost my ability to conceive and carry a child at the age of 26. I spent my first three wedding anniversaries recovering from surgery. My joints can no longer support my love of running and the open road. Every trip and event has to be planned to factor in distance, walking, fatigue from travel, are there gluten-free options, yada, yada, yada. Spontaneous is no longer a part of my vocabulary. I feel like I have lost so much.
I have also gained.
My faith has been strengthened. I have learned what it means to have hope, faith in the things unseen. Even when I feel that God is silent and wonder what His plan is, I know in my heart of hearts that I believe that He is working and He is in control.
I have learned so many lessons from my illness and that I am so much stronger than I could have ever imagined. I am a fighter and refuse to give up, even though I have had to face reality of a new normal. While life had taken me down I road that I never would have imagined, I am learning to be confident in who I’ve become in spite of it.
I have learned first-hand the depth of the promise my husband and I made on our wedding day. I am so lucky to be married to my best friend who I feel compliments me so perfectly and I truly feel he was created specifically for me and to walk with me through this. It has not been easy and I won’t pretend that illness has not brought its share of challenges into our marriage but we are committed to each other 100 percent and the vows that we made before God and our family and I think that helps us get through those hard days.
I have also met so many amazing people that I would not have otherwise had the chance to meet. I am blessed to have several ladies in my life who have gone from acquaintances to friends to dear sweet sisters. When I started this blog, I never imaged that anyone would ever read it much less how lucky I would be to build relationships with so many amazing readers. The online support community I have been able to be a part of has really helped me stay positive, learn about my illnesses and feel empowered, and really grow as a person.
So, chronic illness, you have taken a lot from me but I have gained so very much in return and being able to list out all of the many blessings I have received as a result make everything worth it. You may have broken me but you have not defeated me.
I will not give up.
I’ve been blogging for over five years now and one of my goals with this blog has been to maintain a certain level of transparency about my life with chronic illness, infertility, and adoption – the good, the bad, and the ugly. I try to keep the atmosphere positive and encouraging but I also want to be real about tough topics as well.
However, there are some things that I am dedicated to being off-limits when it comes to blogging:
1- My Marriage. Obviously I am very open to discussing how chronic illness and infertility impact marriage and my husband has even guest posted and I think it is an extremely important topic to talk about as the impact of illness and infertility on marriage is huge and the divorce rate is high and we need to be aware of that. However, this will not be a place where I come to air my dirty laundry or bad-mouth my husband. The details of our marriage are private and out of respect for my husband I plan to keep it that way. For example, I will continue to write about how illness affects marriage and relationships, with the support of my husband, but I will not write about the specifics within our marriage (such as detailing our conflicts, etc). The same rule goes for other family relationships.
2- Abby’s BirthMom. I could talk to you about adoption all day long and the crazy, hard, beautiful journey that it is. I will gladly talk about the benefits about open adoption and what it means for us as we have an open adoption with Abby’s birthmom but I will not share details about her specifically, such as why she chose to place or her history, as it is not my story to share. There are certain details about the adoption that we have not even shared with our families as they are her story and a part of Abby’s story that we do not feel like we have the right to share.
These are the two big ones but I think there is always that search for balance when it comes to blogging, especially when you focus on personal topics such as health and infertility, so I do believe you really need to be aware of boundaries and find what is comfortable for you and your family.
If you are a blogger, what do you consider off-limits?
The prompt for Day 3 of National Blog Post Month started with the statement, “I don’t know about this, but I’d like to.” Having battled chronic illness for over nine years now, I would like to think I am pretty well-versed and am proud of the researcher I have become in efforts to leave no stone unturned when it comes to possible treatments. I also recognize that there is still so much left to learn!
I have never been against natural or alternative treatments for chronic illness. I have seen a chiropractor for chronic pain and a physical therapists for endometriosis. I checked out various herbs and supplements when we were going through fertility treatments.
While I have done some initial research in these areas, I feel like this is an area where I need to spend more time researching. I am not expecting a magic cure by any means but I do think there are possible avenues that may be worth checking out.
I am totally a newbie at this so if you have any recommendations on books or websites that you think I may find helpful, please let me know!
What is one area of health that you do not feel like you know a lot about but would like to learn?