Chasing your Dreams while Sick
The following was written on December 5, 2016.
Today I want to talk about something that is probably the biggest struggle I am faced with daily, and I know I'm not the only one.
Most people just see what I put out there and the drive and ambition I have but don't really see how much work it takes just to start my day. It can become devastatingly frustrating when you know your potential, yet your crippled by the illness that consumes your body (no matter how much you try and ignore it).
I can't tell you how frustrating it is to sit down and write out your schedule for the next day, filled with exciting plans of growing your brand and putting yourself out there, to then wake up the next morning and not be able to walk. If this happened once, or even once a month, maybe it wouldn't be as bad. But this happens every single day. It isn't always my legs that don't work but there is always something. Every morning when I first open my eyes, I am truly filled with hope for the day (that lasts about 5 seconds) before the overwhelming fatigue, pain, nausea, etc. take over.
Take a second to think back to the last time you had the flu. Maybe you're never sick or maybe you know exactly what I am talking about, but for the purpose of this article let's assume you don't have a chronic illness. That flu probably knocked you down and made you bedridden for 24-48 hours, and if it was REALLY intense maybe 72 hours.
Now, imagine waking up and feeling that sick, every single day of your life.
Every day is different, some days are tolerable.. there are only a few things acting up, like your joints are swollen and in pain and you're fatigued but thankfully you're not nauseous so you're able to literally drag yourself out of bed and push yourself beyond your limits to be productive. Some days that's impossible, no matter how hard you try.. no matter how much you cry or reassure yourself with mantras that you are okay, you are healthy, you are strong and you can do this. No matter what, there's no way you're getting anything done that day.
So really, living with a chronic illness is a minute to minute issue that you have to navigate at all times, and can change by the second. People ask me how I do it, how I manage to put a smile on my face and get out and build my brand and not "look sick".
Honestly, it's a lot of work.
It mostly has to do with the fact that I am very stubborn and because I know my potential, it's impossible for me to sit back and watch my life just pass me by. See, I'd rather push myself (even if I'm crying inside the whole way) and have a chance at fulfilling my life's purpose than live out my biggest fear which is dying before I can accomplish the things I know I'm meant to do. I'd rather suffer and push myself through the tears and unbelievable pain, if that means just one person is inspired to not give up. That's what's important to me.
I'm writing this because I don't think I've been open enough with people. I haven't let people really see how much it takes to simply move my legs or type this article. Currently, my hands are shaking, it feels like a 40lb child is sitting on my chest, my arms are tingly and somewhat numb, my brain feels foggy, my neck is so stiff I can barely turn my head, knees keep giving out and my hips are radiating pain down through my thighs. And those are just a few of my symptoms right now, that's not including the fact that I'm dizzy just writing this and scared to stand up because I might collapse.
All of that, and what's most frustrating is I had so much planned for today. But something I've had to learn over the last two years is that good days are never promised. And as frustrating as that is, if I let that knock me down every time, I probably wouldn't have any fight in me to keep living. So it may seem small, my little drive to the park or my outing to get tea with a friend, but those are the moments that keep me going. That and building my brand. Building my brand keeps me looking forward to tomorrow even if I'm only able to accomplish one thing each day.
If you're reading this and you can relate. I urge you to find something that makes you smile, something that makes you excited to push yourself. Because, without that, our minds can go to some seriously dark places. And if all else fails, always know, if you need a friend.. I'm here.