a letter to my illness

(this is messy, this is raw, this is real. it was written in 30 minutes so i apologize for the lack of eloquence and beauty.)

“hey t1d,

nice to see ya. again. and again. i think i see you almost everyday if we’re being honest.

i’ve tried writing about you.

angry writing, sad writing, happy writing, hopeful writing.

i’ve tried to write about the way you make me feel.

i’ve tried to write about the toll you take on my life, my body, my spirit, and the people i love.

but somehow i can’t get the words right.

i want to hate you.

i want to hate you for taking away a sliver of my childhood

for making the days longer and the nights shorter.

for placing fears in my heart and keeping them there for years

for making me pray at night that my siblings wouldn’t have to face this same pain- because that is a possible future that would be life shattering.

for cutting my daydreaming short because some realities i hope for will never come true.

for the endless fits of crying during endocrinologist appointments because i could never explain to the doctor why i wasn’t taking care of myself.

for making me dizzy and lightheaded, and waking up sweating in the middle of the night;

stumbling around the kitchen to find the 15 grams of sugar in the form of a juice box that would save my life.

for making me tired, moody, and weak as my blood sugar raises above 500 without me noticing.

it’s comedical.

a juice box saves my life, insulin saves my life, what can’t my body just decide?

i’m on life support, but no one truly sees it.

that little device on my arm is keeping me alive; take it away and i would wither and join the earth from where i came.

you have caused me so much hurt, so many tears, so many restless nights, so many fights with my parents, so many moments in my life where i thought “why me”?

it’s a statistic that 50% of people who have a chronic illness also suffer from depression.

i have to be asked about the sadness and hopelessness floating in my mind simply because you will never go away.

but even through the pain and suffering, this is the point where i want to thank you, type one diabetes.

thank you. so much.

my younger self didn’t know what was going on with her body as she was taken to the hospital.

but you gave me a mother and a father who stood strong in the midst of a life altering diagnosis of their baby girl.

you gave them the strength and courage to give me insulin shots even though i was screaming at them to stop.

you woke them up in the middle of the night so they could come check my blood and make sure that i was okay- that i wouldn’t be taken from them any sooner than i needed to be.

and you gave me courage,

to be loud. to be proud. to be myself, no matter who that was.

you gave me the words to say to people when they were confusing type 1 and type 2.

you gave me compassion so i could be patient with people who don’t quite understand.

you put the passion in my heart to educate people about you rather than living my life in the shadows and letting those around me live in ignorance.

you gave me life long friends that share my pain- we have a bond stronger than most people could imagine.

you gave me a new life. a life where i can breath, dance, and laugh knowing that i lived past the age of four and to be thankful for every moment.

you gave me the ability to look in the mirror and face the scars that run up and down almost every part of my body that has been marked by needles, and still think that i am beautiful.

you gave me a truly joyful heart, because i can see the face of death but i love living just too much.

so yes, i cry while writing this.

i will always cry when i talk about you and the impact you have on my life.

you empowered me-

you will continue to empower me.

love,

soph”

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