Originally posted on March 21, 2017

This post, #7 from my “Life in My 20s” series, felt timely to share when a friend of mine said something to me recently–something I needed to hear at the time–which I’ll share more about in a bit.

Unless you’ve experienced a chronic or ongoing illness of any sort, it’s difficult to imagine what those who do have an ongoing illness experience, especially those who have an illness that is misunderstood by the medical community. It’s become clear to me that many illnesses are still a mystery to doctors, and as such, coming up with a true cure or solution to heal the illness can be difficult. I’ve felt like target practice several times when doctors have said, “let’s try this and see if it works,” or “maybe this will work,” or “let’s do a dose of steroids intravenously and hope that works, because we know you have myopathy, but the muscle biopsy was inconclusive, so we don’t know why you have it.”

I’ve tried everything from traditional to alternative medicine to working with spiritual coaches and various forms of therapy to support the conditions for which I’ve been diagnosed. You name it, I’ve probably tried it. I’m a fantastic student when it comes to attempting to heal my body because I would give anything to not feel the way I feel or have felt frequently over the past decade and then some. Faith and Hope keep me going, as well as the support and love of my family and friends.

I recall a past phone conversation with my friend Susan when she shared with me that she had been struggling with not feeling well and had thought about me a lot as a result. She still had responsibilities, and pushing through wasn’t easy to get things done. “I thought that this is how you feel on a regular basis,” she shared with me (paraphrasing). It almost brought tears to my eyes, because it was amazing to have someone attempt to wear my shoes for a moment and understand my struggle. To be validated in such a way was healing because it’s so rare. Ongoing illness impacts our life, relationships, ability to work, social lives, and more. It’s hard for people to understand because we often don’t “look sick” and we’re not bleeding or have a broken limb. But the struggle is real and is spoken to in the poem below, which I wrote over a decade ago when I was having a really hard time understanding what was going on with my body and the struggles the doctors were having in trying to support me. 

I’ve really never been in full remission, and have had several flare-ups over the years, with one of the worst occurring in late 2015, which I wrote about at that time, as well. I’ll find and reshare it soon.

I do believe my body can and will heal… at some point. In the meantime, I’m grateful for the support of my family, friends, and health practitioners who do attempt to “get it” and support me. You mean the world to me. 

And to those who struggle with any type of ongoing illness, I wish I could wave a magic wand for you, as I know you understand and can relate to my words. Keep your chin up and keep moving. Don’t give up until you’ve found the right solution to help your body heal and reclaim your well-being. 

Update: Not too long after I wrote the above post, I was diagnosed with, and am still in treatment for, PTSD and C-PTSD (also referred to as Complex PTSD as a result of ongoing, sustained trauma).

I’m continually reminded that it’s essential that we have people in our lives who support us through the ups and downs of life, and it’s also essential we choose the right people to allow into our space through those ups and downs.

I am happy to report that I am closer than I have ever been to being in full remission, largely due to the support of curing my PTSD/C-PTSD, which I now realize went undiagnosed for the last couple of decades of my life and is likely the root cause of many of the conditions with which I’ve been diagnosed (that were discussed above). Being this close to remission and recovery, I must say, is a really, really great feeling — even if it felt like I had to go through hell and back to get here. 😉

Much Love,
Ronda 

“Life in my 20s” Series #7

STRENGTH

The room is dark
Loneliness all around
Traitors place their mark
But don’t make a sound

Roll over and stand
The strength of a man
She’s sinking in sand
Is this part of the plan?

Remove the invader
The one without a name
Is the body a traitor?
There’s no one to blame

The river flows
They don’t understand why
It goes and it goes
‘Til she feels blind

Please, please believe
She only speaks truth
She’s working towards relief
As she longs for her youth

Concentration is gone
Screaming voices inside
Wave the magic wand
Push ignorance aside

Thinking becomes a game
The mind plays tricks
She’s going insane
Is she really sick?

Pain, pain, pain without end
Go away. Go away.
Alternatives to mend
The chemicals at bay

Weak and tired no more
Yes she will stand
Anguish galore
But she knows she can

A ghost in the night
A nightmare of sorts
She will win this fight
In front of the courts

She wants to give up
Please understand
She’ll never give up
She has the strength… of a woman

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