Dear body, please forgive me.

Dear body, I confess I am ungrateful.

Dear body, Your betrayal is far from unseen. I feel it from my fingertips boiling all the way to my toes. I am reminded of it when I walk, when I talk, when I wake up, when I’m trying to rest, you throw it in my face and watch me shatter.

Dear body, I confess you do things right I should be thankful for. However, if we’re speaking a bare cold truth – I am angry. I am disgusted. I have a hard time being thankful.

Dear body, some days I can tell you thank you for fighting. Thank you for not letting me sink. Other days, I wish you would’ve.

Dear body, Tonight I stared at the ceiling and cried. I sobbed because you have made me hate myself in so many ways that I can’t find a reason to be thankful anymore.

Dear body, It pains me to tell you that nights like tonight are more common than not.

Dear body, I am scared to be alone in fear you’ll just continue to fail me. It’s been a month and a day since I took an ambulance to the hospital because covid sucked every drop of air from my lungs. I’ve been home for a little while now. I’ve been crying in pain and crying in frustration because this recovery is clearly not something to fuck around with. I thought i may be on the upswing. Then yesterday I fell on the stairs. I kept that a secret.

Dear body, tomorrow is the first time I will be fully alone since i’ve been ill. (a term that makes no sense for those of us who are always ill.) I just want to give up now so I don’t have to face it at all.

Dear body, I started a new diet. The continuous weakening of my muscles and reoccurring bed rest you put me on has made me gain more weight than i’d like to admit. You have become my least favorite part about me. You have become the part of me I can’t stand to look at. My healthy friends tell me it’s okay as if they understand, my chronically ill friends tell me i’m just lucky I can gain weight. When you’re healthy enough to gain tons of weight yet not healthy enough to workout, Neither help.

Dear body, I hate you. I know I need to be grateful. Days like today I can’t seem to look at you without wanting to give up or vomit, or both. Days like today I want a refund. Days like today I don’t get out of bed. Days like today , I ask what i ever did to you? Days like today, I ask for forgiveness.

and just like that, say goodbye to your childhood.

As I write this, my vest is making my fingertips shake even more than the albuterol running through my neb. However, why am I really shaking? Is it the treatment I’m currently doing or did it start long before the treatment could be to blame?

Today marks a new chapter in my new “adult” life. Today I have to walk into children’s hospital as a nineteen year old and say goodbye to the pulmonologist I’ve had since the ripe age of three. Doctor Wheeler has been around for longer than I can even remember, seeing me at my best as well as my worst. As a child he would do anything to cheer me up when I wasn’t feeling well even if that meant bringing toys to my hospital room at 7 pm, sitting with me to listen to my whine and cry, putting hospital gowns on my stuffed animals, you name it. He was also there to educate me on my disease and answer all my scared questions as I got older. Not to mention comfort my parents when they would be beside themselves over hearing upsetting news, as well as to educate them.

At nineteen what am I legally old enough to do? Go to certain casinos, and buy scratch offs. I can’t drink, I couldn’t buy a pack of cigarettes if I chose to, I can’t gamble most places, I can’t even rent a car. Yet, I’m legally still an adult? I should be able to go to doctors appointments alone, be alone in the hospital, not to mention know what I want to do with my life, figure out how to not over work my body while still trying to afford the price of living, and now go into the adult medical world? It’s bullshit.

For anyone else in the same boat as me, here is my confession. I still cry when I’m scared and sick. I still want my mom to be there when I have to have a procedure or even just go to a doctor’s appointment. I still have no idea what I’m doing trying to navigate this whole not working too much and being able to afford to live. I still want to call my parents when I feel like a doctor isn’t listening to me. I’m so sick of the medical world treating me like a child yet telling me to grow up and act like an adult. I have no idea how to make time for work, school, treatments, rest, and still, enjoy my life. Still make time for friends or even just to relax by myself. I still sit alone in tears because navigating this grey area of an age where I’m expected to act like an adult but treated like a child. I sit in tears because I’m nineteen and somehow feel forty and fourteen at the same time. I sit in tears because I wanted so badly to have the young adult life my friends get away in another state at college, not having to worry about being close to your team of doctors or parents if anything goes wrong. I sit in tears because I watch their social media where they are with friends constantly partying and having fun and just being a normal young adult. Not worrying about paying for their medicine or applying for disability. Having this illness and this disability is a lot more than being sick once in a while, and when you feel like your getting thrown to the wolves on your own you realize you had to skip a whole stage of life without being given a choice. Thanks for listening.

I Confess.

I confess. I have sat in this hospital bed all day sulking. Feeling alone, feeling depressed, feeling angry.

I confess. I hate physical therapy. I hate being taught to walk up a stairwell again like I’m a child learning for the first time. I hate feeling pity.

I confess. I don’t want to stand tall and be strong today. I don’t feel like getting out of bed. I don’t feel like moving.

I confess. My depression comes in waves, as my favorite spoken word poem states “One day it’s as small as a firefly in the palm of a bear The next it’s the bear.” Today was a bear day.

I confess. This cold frail darkroom has given me Stockholm syndrome. I lie awake staring at the TV or watching comfort movies while my legs feel nailed to the bed. Part of me wants to leave so badly, the other isn’t ready to return to the world again. Depression makes me want to sink into the bed and suddenly disappear, anxiety nails my legs down whispering worries in my ear of being on my own again. This part of me is too embarrassed to convey to anybody how I feel, too scared they will find me crazy because they would probably never understand.

I confess. The dark days consume me. I watch movies like the fault in our stars or read the book repeatedly to not feel alone. All because I remember myself as a child watching it in the movie theater silently crying because I watched the girls my age admire Hazel Grace. I watched them see her as a person and love her qualities. I watched them push for her to be loved and believe she deserves it just as much as anyone else. I watched them see her as more than someone who’s sick. Find her smart, pretty, funny. I watched them be nothing short of accepting, and I thought to myself that maybe one day they would do the same for me.

I confess. Everyone finds me strong, they tell me my strength is amazing and that they aspire to have my optimism and resilience. So when I’m weak, I battle alone. For the sake of my loved ones, I don’t want to ruin that picture for them. It’s easier for them to cope thinking I cope well, thinking my strength doesn’t waver.

I confess. On the dark days, I am sad about a countless amount of things. On the dark days, I cuss out the man upstairs if he’s truly there listening. On the dark days, I cry a lot. On the dark days, I would do anything to not have this particular life.

I confess, to whom it may concern. I confess, if anyone is listening.