Nine and a bit years ago I was diagnosed with ME, or chronic fatigue syndrome. At the time, doctors were reluctant to diagnose patients with such a label, something unknown, and something that could just be another mental illness being misinterpreted. Still now, little is known, there is still debate about wither this is a disability, an illness or something of the mind.
But this is not a story of medicine, or one of debate. This is me, learning how to adapt to something that changes daily, changes by the minute, something I struggle to explain (even to myself). I never wanted an illness to be the centre of my life, and then, I didn’t want this thing I am suffering to just have to work its way into my routine life, its a balance, a compromise, where life and health have to give, take and co-operate. I am blessed to live a life of freedom, of choice, to have the will (even tho some days it can take over an hour) to get out of bed (why do you think my alarm is set so early?). How am I to say life is “hard” when there are others suffering around me, others less fortunate, others who even tho their circumstances seem horrific, unbelievable, unlivable, or even to our perspective nothing major, see the beauty, the light, the life in every day.
This new road I am traveling, a new city, a new “home”, a new difference has challenged me, has forced me to struggle, to understand that this road is different, it is unpredictable and this illness I share life with has responded and wants to be heard. My strength comes from the beauty of life, a life God has given us to live, learn, play and struggle with, a life to love, the intricacy of the leaves, the grass, every strand of it, and what we create, for ourselves, others and just because. Life, no matter how “hard”, changing, awkward, uncomfortable, simple, life is to be lived, and lived with purpose.