There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.William Shakespeare
Giving up is easy, persevering is not. I can’t even count all of the times that I have wanted to give up, to be done with this life that’s mine. But I never have, and I never will. Growing up is really hard, and doing it while chronically ill feels impossible sometimes. I was 18 when I started my crazy medical journey. A normal, healthy young adult doesn’t have to go to doctor’s appointments every 8 weeks, get blood taken every 6 weeks, and take 5 different prescription medications every single night. All of that alone could make any person want to give up and stop it all, but life doesn’t work that way, and I’ve had to figure that out as I have gone along. For a year and a half, I would come out of almost every rheumatologist appointment with a new diagnosis. I would absolutely dread going to the doctor because I didn’t know how it would end, most of the time I would end up crying in the car on the way home. It’s incredibly easy to give up when you know that there will be a new diagnosis at the end of the appointment. But I knew that I couldn’t give up because that would mean I was letting my illnesses win. I wanted to give up when certain medications didn’t work, I wanted to give up when I had to cancel plans, and I really wanted to give up when I ended up in the hospital last summer. You could say that I gave up a little bit here and there, but it’s not super easy to keep going when you’re severely depressed. If you looked into my life 6 months ago, it would have been easy to assume that I had given up, but deep inside I knew that there was still fight left in me. That’s why I got help, I can’t stress how important it is to seek help if you need it, it doesn’t make you weak, it makes you strong. After I was put on antidepressants and found a immunosuppressant that worked, my life started to come back together, and the feeling of wanting to give up came around less and less. I have to give a shoutout to my mom and my sister, they will never let me give up. They came to every horrible, scary, and depressing doctor’s appointment with me, and always looked at the positives while staying sympathetic to my feelings. They let me feel how I wanted, while still helping me see the positive. And I honestly think that they would pick me up, carry me around, and do whatever else was needed before they ever let me give up, and for that I will be forever grateful. My life is really hard, and that’s the truth. It’s messy, unconventional, unpredictable, painful, and scary. But it’s also beautiful. And it’s beautiful because of the people that I have around me, and the attitude that I try to keep (and please don’t think that I’m positive 24/7, I definitely have my moments, I’m only human). I’m terrified of becoming the chronically ill person that quits their job, alienates themselves from the people that they love, and stays home on the couch all day. Because if I became that person it means that I have given up on this life, and this life is not something to give up on. For all of the bad moments, there are 100 more good ones. So here’s to living life, even if I do it a little bit differently than others.