“hang in there” These three words for some mean nothing major yet for others….it is what we need to hear to make it through the day! Today ideas brutally reminded of now much pain I feel when the weather turns rainy! Major mind-numbing pain that would not end. To the point of a major pounding headache. Days like tonight I realize I could push myself to write…but then I wonder….would that writing be worth anything? I realize nope! High chance I would have to redo! So instead of pushing myself….I rest. I do small things like brain storm updates for my resume and think of cool things to do online. Such as learning Snapchat! Haha! I read an entire Maire Claire!! Things to relax my brain do help me count my blessing through the torture…yet I do wish it was someone else living this painful life. Until I realize…..all I have learned! I wouldn’t be the person I am today…had I not faced the journey of the last 5 years! This journey has made me who I am today, for better and for worse. I have grown up….I have felt unimaginable pain….I have dealt with countless frustrating months battling for treatment/good doctors.
But I have learned to advocate for myself! I read a great story in the July issues of Maire Claire. There was a woman who had experienced a tragedy, she said that you don’t bring to heal until you talk about it. Holding your pain inside doesn’t bringing thr peace and healing we long for. I know I held my “secret” inside for months. I didn’t want people to look at me differently! I didn’t want to be “that girl”! It wasn’t until I spent 2 weeks in the hospital that I realized I couldn’t do this journey alone. The medicine, the autoimmune suppression…all of it….I needed support. So I started seeking out people who could (selfishly) help me cope! That is how this blog started.
And as I have grown up, I have realized too often I am afraid of being seen differently! And I realize if I don’t speak out…..the world will never know that yes we do struggle, yes we do hurt, yes we are miserable physically (and sometimes emotionally)! BUT despite all of that….WE LIVE!
In the dedication of my dissertation there will be a paragraph dedicated to the fighters I have talked to, to the fighters who read this page or my Facebook, and to the fighters I might never know were touched in some way by my stories. I will dedicate my dissertation to you, passing the baton to the next chronically ill academic!
Our illnesses don’t end us! Our dreams and goals don’t have to stop! I am determined to advocate not only for myself but to anyone who will listen! I want people to know that my life with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Fibro is tough! Yes painful, miserable many days, draining, etc. But above all of that I want to encourage others to live! And make those who don’t know our diseases to become a bit more aware!
Hugs and spoons! 🙂
The chronically ill academic 🙂