Yes, I mean you! I see you struggling, I know your pain. You think no one could ever know what it takes to get you through the day, what it takes for you to even get out of bed. I know your struggle, I know your pain. It’s real. You are not alone.
How do I know? Well, I am you. We are one and the same. I know of the pain that drags you into the deepest recesses of hell and makes you question if life is really worth all this. I am the young man who sits next to you in the doctors office praying this one will help him when so many have ignored his symptoms. I am the mother in the scooter trying to shop with two children in tow. I am the teenager who can’t get the energy to go be with friends because her doctors will not believe her because she’s to young to feel like this. I am the individual who sits in the dark with a gun in hand saying enough. I AM YOU!
How did I see past the mask? I have worn the fake smiles. Laughed and joked when all I really wanted was to curl up and die. I have said “I Am Fine.” more times than I can count. I have pushed myself past my breaking point to be and do what others think I should do. I know all the lines and all the ways to cheat and hide how I really am on the inside.
Daily you wonder if this life is worth all this pain. You wonder if you will ever feel normal again. You wonder if you will ever find someone who will love you with all your issues. You wonder if this is what will kill you. You wonder when the doctors will figure out how to fix you. You wonder if anyone hears your cry for help.
I hear you! I am you! Life right now maybe shit; but it can and will hold beauty again. Someday you will find the one person that gives you hope and love. They will give you a reason to live. They will hear your cries and wipe your tears. They will stand up to the doctors and not let them throw you away as if you were nothing. They will bring unimaginable beauty to each day.
Who is this person and where can you find them? Get up and walk into your bathroom. Stand facing your sink. What do you see? You are who you’ve been looking for this whole time. You are your own saviour! You are a kick ass warrior! You have the strength, heart, compassion, and grit to face anything. You will keep walking forward even as this disease weighs you down. Each day will provide the chance that answers will come.
Why am I talking to you? Well, the answer is simple. Even the strongest warrior needs a shoulder to lean on from time to time. We need other warriors to help us along the way. Some will make you laugh when you need it. Some will kick you in the ass to get you to do the things you know you should. Some will come along and give you hope just when you have none. And yet others will come along and cheer you on in your accomplishments. They will become your family, your tribe.
The bottom line is this: you are not alone. You never have been. We have been here for you the whole time. You see us now because you are us and we are you. You reached out and grasped the warrior in you. Stand tall, stand proud! You are a spoonie warrior!!! You have a never say die flame that burns inside. Yes, you have bad days. Yes, you will scream, cry and shout “Why me?”. In the end you will pick yourself up ,with the help of friends, family, and fellow warriors, dust yourself off and face another battle with courage and a fierce will to live pain free.
Just remember…I know you! You are me. You are one bad ass, never say die, strong, courageous, ass kicking, beautiful mess, spoonie warrior! And I love you!
Read Linda’s second letter here.