Just Because You Don't Look Sick

Just Because You Don't Look Sick

Doesn't mean you aren't suffering daily.
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Living with something that damages you on the inside and is nearly invisible on the outside is a demon that I've been fighting with for the last six years. The worst part of it is there is no clear diagnosis. There is no explanation why I feel the way I do. Every. Single. Day. I've been to countless numbers of doctors who have blamed several different medical issues for the pain. If I were being honest with you, I would tell you that the pain is equivalent to what a drawer full of knives falling onto me would feel like. If I were also being honest, I would tell you that this, whatever this is, has impacted not only my physical health, but my mental and emotional health, interactions with my friends and family, my performance at work and school, and my overall motivation and hope that a doctor may come up with an answer. If I were lying, I would smile and tell you that I'm fine and not to worry about me.

There are days that I wake up and I physically can not leave my bed. I try to sit up, but the daggers inside me stop me. There are days that I pull myself up and start my day and half way through I break down. There are nights that I stay up until the sun shines, tossing and turning and hoping that I can get a few useful minutes of rest so I can tackle the next day. I have good days, too. There are days that I can wake up, go on beautiful adventures, get all of my work done, and by the end of the day still feel comfortable enough to fall asleep. Those good days are what keep me going. Knowing that even though today I'm sick and can't move, tomorrow might be a little bit better.

I wanted to reach out to everyone in my life and tell them that I'm sorry for not being able to be the best me possible. I feel guilty when I call in sick to work, again, for this "whatever." I'm stressed when I can't make it to class and I miss the lesson for the day and have to ask someone for help. I feel like I'm letting everyone down when I take on another responsibility that my body isn't letting me handle at the moment. I feel like my friends think that I'm just saying I don't feel good so I don't have to spend time with them. I feel like my family is just sick of the same story themselves and they don't believe it much anymore either. I need you all to know that I'm not OK right now. But, I also need you all to know that I will be.

I need everyone to know that I'm stronger than I look and this, whatever this is, won't get the best of me.

I'm fighting a mystery.

Please hang in there with me.


Cover Image Credit: Zierra Treshock

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Putting The "Discipline" In Spiritual Disciplines

Why actual "Working" at something in Christianity is good.

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Possibly the some of the greatest and most freeing news ever in the entire world is that Jesus paid the penalty for our actions in full... and there is nothing we have to do to earn this payment.

You can work and work and work all your life to try and "repay" Jesus back, but it would never be enough.

You can go to all the services, give a 5 every time you see a homeless person, tithe 15% regularly, know all the songs (both hymns and contemporary), read all the books, get all the degrees, and give every single shirt you have to someone who is without.

And it would still not be enough.

While that can be difficult to grasp to some (especially new believers), it is so thrilling when we realize that we don't have to try and earn it. We can just enjoy this free gift God has given us.

And while this is so true and can never be stressed enough, sadly there has been (in my opinion) a backwards thinking that pairs right along with it:

That we don't have to work at anything in our Spiritual Life.

There's this myth going around that we don't have to work on our prayer life. We don't have to work on being more frugal. We don't need to fast (that's sooo Old Testament). We don't have to seek time alone with God.

And if we aren't good at any of these (what the Church has called for hundreds of years) Spiritual Disciplines, then that's okay because our debt is paid in full!

But there is nothing wrong with growth? And growth isn't always easy.

Tending a garden can be difficult work. Knowing when and how much to water, tilling and raking, pruning and keep animals away, keeping aware of the weather, etc.

Someone can give you all the free plants in the world, and they can even plant them for you for free. But it will take work to make them grow.

When we are saved and we accept this free gift that God has given us, that is not the end of our journey but merely the beginning. We must continue to push and grow closer towards God. And that growth comes with a price and hardship.

You might have to get up an extra 30 minutes to make sure you get your time with God. You might need to make yourself listen to Christian radio to get some of these damaging and sinful thoughts out of your head. You might need to fast every once and a while. You might need to pay your tithe at the first of the month to make sure you do. You might need to put ALL technology away to sincerely pray to God.

Yeah, it might be hard at first to make these changes.

But so is running. And then you start, and keep going, and pretty soon you are one of those weird people who actually enjoy running and can't get enough running in. They are always looking for an opportunity to run. Running has become one of their key attributes and they HAVE to do it. It's addictive.

Now, replace "running" with "praying" or any other discipline.

Hard work and discipline is different than trying to "pay back."

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