I do not think any of us doubt that we are blessed. Truly I am.
However there is no denying that this life, the #ChronicLife is different than my previous existence. It would be a lie to say it is something I would choose for myself. Though I have grown a great deal as a person through my experiences of pain and invisible illness.
The diagnostic experience is one I like to refer to as "Hurry up and Wait". For months the anticipation grows as we wait for answers from one specialist or another. The appointment comes but instead of answers, more questions are raised.
Tests scheduled for dates multiple moons away.
Follow ups with results further off still.
"Hurry up and wait".
Patience is a central life lesson.
The living and the waiting. The hoping and the treatments. The flares and the remissions. The pain and it's aftermath. We carry these things with us . It can take up a fair amount of our daily life.
For my girlfriends who don't quite understand, I liken it to a new mother on Facebook. New moms are up all night, have a strange new figure, a sudden fascination with bodily functions and a new found willingness to discuss them.
Migraine, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, and the spectrum of invisible illnesses can be just as all consuming, though we may post fewer pictures on Facebook than the average new mom.
It may indeed be far more glamorous to throw oneself in front of a cause than to experience chronic illness day by day. I grew up beside someone with Chronic Persistent Migraine never fully grasping their plight until parts of it became my own. I'm not advocating trying to force understanding out of others, but acknowledgement out of self. #Royals don't walk an easy path but it is a valuable one.
While I have watched my friends explore the globe, I explored interior worlds.
Self-knowledge is the beginning of all true understanding. It is the root of compassion, empathy and gentleness. So while we may not have asked for the crowns we wear, we can wear them well.
#Royals have taught me this over the years.
When our crowns feel too heavy to bear, we have a huge family to lean on.
Thus the reason I eternally remind you that you belong and we are always here for you.
It's one of the biggest benefits of belonging to a
something larger than yourself.
You are never alone.