As people with chronic illness, we are so often reminded of something that I believe is of great detriment to our well-being: when well people tell us our health struggles, our personal challenges, the great storms of our lives “will someday be useful.”
I’ve grown to loathe this idea. I realize it is meant to be an encouragement; however, it causes myself and my brothers and sisters in pain deeper despair.
“Someday?” It’s as though they are reminding us that we don’t have as much to give until we are restored to health like them. I completely reject anything of the sort! It’s not only ableism, it’s spiritual degradation.
I believe you and I are worthy and valuable just as we are. Yes, right now. You were no more “special” when your nervous system was functioning properly, but I can attest that the memory of wellness certainly has a shining halo around it.
We feel so small and insignificant after illness devours our lives, and those we love in its wake. There is no “after the tsunami lifts” with chronic illness, as we are always seeking out cover, our safe places are constantly being destroyed, and the physical and emotional turmoil can feel endless. My personal peace rests in my faith, a relationship which has grown inside of my own tsunami.
This message of purpose is one I write on frequently, because I struggle so deeply with the whispers that my life isn’t enough, I should be doing more, and I wonder if I would be more valuable as a person if only my body worked again.