If You Love Someone Living With A Chronic Illness, This Is For You

If You Love Someone Living With A Chronic Illness, This Is For You

We know it isn't easy, but we appreciate it more than you know.
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To those who have stuck around:

We know that it isn't easy to love us. We know it can be hard and stressful to be significant others, best friends, co-workers, parents, children, siblings to us. We know the toll it takes on you. I promise, we do notice that it is difficult on you, but that you love us anyway. We know that you have to make sacrifices for us and compromise quite a bit and we are incredibly grateful for it. We aren't always the best at thanking you or acknowledging everything you do for us. Sometimes we are in too much pain or under too much stress. I promise, we are thankful and we know that we couldn't do it without you. Your time, energy, and unconditional love does not go unnoticed. Thank you. Thank you for every day, thank you for every moment, thank you for the rest of our time together.

To those who left:

It would be easy for us to be bitter. It would be a lot easier to just tell you where to shove it, but we won't. We will just thank you for leaving, instead. Thank you for leaving when you did, because we do not have time for people who aren't in our lives for the right reasons. We don't have time for half-ass relationships, guilt trips, or negativity. Thank you for showing us the kind of people we don't want to surround ourselves with. Thank you for also reminding us to be grateful for the positive, loving people we do have.

To those who doubted us:

We do not need your validation. We know what we go through, we know our pain, we know our bodies. I hope that one day you will have the opportunity to gain perspective and understand that just because our pain is invisible, just because we look and act “normal” does not mean that we are not suffering. Your doubt in us made us doubt ourselves so many times and left us feeling isolated and lonely. All you needed to do was be there, listen and support us with every hardship or decision we made. This doubting, while hurtful and toxic, made us stronger.

To those who want to love us:

Please know that loving us isn't a walk in the park. We may be tired, sick, or in too much pain sometimes. We may seem flakey, but in reality, it's our health that is flakey. We promise, we are so much more than our bad days. If you can see past that, and love us through them, then we will happily accept you as a part of our lives. But please, don't get involved if you don't think you can handle it.

To ourselves:

Look at you- you have been through so much. Friendships, jobs, relationships, hobbies have all been affected and maybe lost. But you're still here. You are more than the things you have been through, the pain you experience, the amount of surgeries, medications, tests, the diagnosis, the plans you have canceled, the things you can't do, the scars, the tears- you are more. You are not defined by all of this. You are no less strong, capable, intelligent, loving, creative, charismatic, brilliant. You are still all of these things through your pain and that is pretty damn incredible. Don't forget that and don't sell yourself short. You still have so much to offer to the world. Thank you for being here.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


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Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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