By: Samantha Smith
First of all, you should know that I don’t like you. You’re not a fun part of my life. You cause me pain. You made it difficult, and in some cases, impossible, to eat normal foods. You took away a basic human need. You took my health from me without asking. You weaseled into my life without permission and took up permanent residence. You kept me from living my life the way I always dreamed, and I hate you for it.
You constantly change your face. The moment I get to know you, and learn how to deal with you, you change everything about yourself. I can’t keep up. I work hard to fight you and you just won’t take the hint and leave.
You have ruined parts of me. You changed how I see myself. You made it hard to live in a world where people can’t see you. You hide in the shadows and people question your existence. You can’t be seen, but I never forget you are there.
Gastroparesis, I will always hate you, but I also have to thank you. You showed me where my fight was. You took a lot from me, but you gave me a lot in return. You showed me how to stand up for myself. You taught me how to advocate for myself to get the proper care. You gave me a crash course in health/medical care, and in turn, I’ve been able to help others when you show your ugly face in their life too.
Even on the days that you hurt me, I am grateful for what I have learned because of you. I wouldn’t have found my strength if it wasn’t for you. While you make my life difficult, I know it’s worth it. One day, you won’t be so present. You won’t make my choices for me.
You made me appreciate all that I had before you, and all that I’ll have after you. I have an unconventional relationship with food, but I’m grateful for every bite. You helped me find my purpose. You gave me more of a reason to never give up on myself. I got over every obstacle you pushed into my path, and I’ll continue to come out on top.
I’ve come to terms with you being in my life. It’s taken me a while, and there are days that will test me beyond anything than I’ve ever imagined. Just know that no matter what you throw at me, I’ll be ready.
And I’ll win.
Do you have something you’d like to say to Gastroparesis and/or a chronic illness? Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Sam, I’m 27, from upstate NY. I live with a few chronic illnesses, one being Gastroparesis, but that doesn’t prevent me from being a runner and a strong writer for the GP community. As of December of this year, I’ll be the new newsletter editor for G-Pact! If you’d like to see some of my writing on life and chronic illness, check out my personal blog at Hustle & Heart!