I don’t know about you, but whenever something bad happens in my life, I ask, “Why me?” I don’t want to accept what has happened, so I think it must be the result of something I have done that warrants punishment.
I used to think that everything happened because of something else. Playing the blame game with myself led to a lot of guilt, depression, and anxiety. I thought I must have been a terrible child, or just a terrible person in general, to be diagnosed with a potentially life-limiting disease. Nobody had ever told me so. I think my self-doubt and anxiety found their voice and spoke louder than my confidence and positivity.
While in the hospital for treatment, I would often lie there and question why I was chosen to bear the brunt of this terrible disease they call myasthenia gravis. Why were my teenage years ripped away from me, and why was I taken to the brink of death so often? Why did I feel like I had to be concerned for my life every day, and why did I have to miss out on so much of the fun that all my friends and family were having? I shed many tears over this question, and I don’t think that I can ever fully answer it.
I have come to realize, however, that my disease is not a punishment. I was not chosen to be the sick one. Nobody — unless there was something seriously wrong with them — would wish sickness on someone else. But let’s leave that discussion for another day.
With that said, why not me? Would I rather someone else suffer through what I have?
My sickness has helped bring my family closer. It has helped me appreciate every day of my life, and every task that I am able to complete deserves a celebration. I managed to walk without a cane today — that is amazing! I survived the operation we were all concerned about — what a miracle! I didn’t slur my words in the speech I was giving — aren’t I lucky?
The daily tasks that I had taken for granted until my diagnosis are now milestones, and I feel that, through my rare disease, I have had my heart shaped into a kinder, gentler, more patient one. I have a greater understanding of people’s suffering, and I am able to offer support in a way that I could not have managed if I had never become sick.
I value relationships and tell my friends and family all the time that I love them, as I am never sure when it will be my time to go. I appreciate the fact that I can wake up every weekday and go to work, because I was told many times that I would never be able to do something as “mundane” as this. And now I have even started going to the gym, so when I wake up stiff and feeling like I am unable to move, I am reminded of when I really couldn’t move and needed help getting out of bed and bathing.
Every day has a new lesson for us. Every day is a blessing. And every day is a new chance. Grab it!
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