‘’A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference’’
Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh.
The tough journey of chronic illnesses can make you feel like you’re going it alone, but that is far from the truth. Over the past few months there have been times where I have felt like I’m all on my own: The moments where I’ve been sat staring at the same four walls of my bedroom for the fifth month running, when I’ve been locked in a hospital or when things have just got too much, it can be pretty isolating. Regardless, throughout this journey I have had an abundance of support, that has made it so much easier to fight through all the crap (pun kinda intended).
The love and support from friends and family is so important for those of us with a chronic illness because being on your own can consume you. It can feel safer to be on your own; the darkness grows around you, hugs you and protects you from the reality of the outside world. There are times where I have isolated myself due to my UC, times where I have been too weak and unwell to contact those around me. To the times when my illness has taken over a little and I just don’t want to speak to anyone.
Throughout every stage of this illness I have been lucky enough to have love and support from some amazing people; listening to me moan on about the endless medication, doctors appointments and hospitals. Being there for a cuppa when I’ve needed a shoulder to cry on because it has all been so overwhelming. And just being there when you want a laugh; laughter with someone I love is the best medicine. When trapped in hospital I had so many lovely people coming to visit me to distract me from where I was and what was happening to me. We talked about nothing in particular but it made me forget I was attached to an IV line.
I find that I repeat myself a lot recently (due to the repetitive nature of drug therapy and thanks to the medication fogging up my mind). Subsequently, I tend to keep things to myself so not to bother those around me with the endless boring talk of hospitals and being ill. But the most important thing is to let those who love you help you. They are there to listen and they are to help; whether that’s just getting a cup of tea together, watching Netflix in bed or having a nap.
It just means so much to me to know I have people who love me and care about me because when you are landed with such an immense health issue, this can be the only thing that keeps you going. To have others around you to laugh and giggle about nothing important gives you the opportunity to talk about something else other than the fact you’re still unwell, or that the most productive thing you’ve done all day is get dressed. Even getting a ‘’how are you today’’ text brightens up my day because it reminds me just how lucky I am to have so many people around me who genuinely care. It has made me realise who my real friends are, who truly loves me and who truly wants to be in your life no matter what happens. It is those who always go the extra mile without any question.
My illness has changed the lives of the people around me as well as changing my own, and I have so much respect for those who have given up so much of their time to help me throughout all of this. The people who have come to appointments with me, to hospital, or just popped in for a coffee have made this so much less lonely. Having the illness is difficult but it is also hard for those around you, to watch on the sidelines as you undergo such a huge life change. I wouldn’t have got through these past few months without those people who have given up so much to help me. I am so grateful to every single one because it is thanks to their help and support that I have managed to stay strong throughout all of this.
I get better because of the people who have taken the time to come and see me when I can’t go to them. You are my medicine. You are the most important thing in my life and I love you all.