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About illness

Life from the couch

The worst thing about writing this blog is the feeling that people think I’m complaining. That when I share a post, they’re saying to themselves, ‘God, here goes that whiny woman again, why doesn’t she quit it? There are many out there who are far worse off than she is.’

And, of course, they are right. I know that actually, in the big scheme of things, I’m really lucky. Since I got sick, and since I started sharing my experiences, many people have shared theirs. I’m really humbled when people do this, and I’m just so amazed at their courage and spirit. It reminds me to be grateful for what I do have.

People have called me brave for sharing what I’m going through, and my reply to that is, I don’t feel brave. I feel scared. I’m anxious about writing this blog, about what people who read it think of me, about broadcasting my private life.

But I’m learning that being vulnerable, something I have always fought against, is absolutely key to human experience. It’s what opens us up to connections, and connections make life worth living. One of the hardest parts of being sick has been being alone. If I can let others know that everyone is facing their own challenges, that we’re all fighting alongside each other, then I think I should do that. Even if it’s really difficult.

So, yes, I’m whining a bit. But I’m not doing it for pity, or shock reaction, or even sympathy. I’m doing it because I need to, because I feel like it might help both myself and others, and because I am searching for empathy.

Not sympathy, empathy. I want people to understand what I’ve been through, so they can understand where I’m coming from now. I want people to know that when I say I can’t come out, or eat with them, or even just watch a movie together, I’m not being melodramatic. I’m not avoiding you. I seriously, undeniably, am currently incapable of doing these things.

It’s really hard. It breaks my heart that I’m missing out on so much, that my life is currently on hold while I sit here, literally unable to get off the damn couch, and go out and be part of it. I’m used to making things happen. It’s totally demoralizing to me that I can’t do that right now. That I can’t just force myself through this.

I just have to rest, and wait, and hope that soon, my body will stop trying to attack itself and start being my friend again.

Until then, I guess I’ll continue broadcasting, live from the couch.

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About writehandedgirl

Sarah is a writer who is passionate about social justice, feminism, politics, and cats. She is a columnist and poet and currently lives in Nelson. You can follow Sarah on Twitter (@_writehanded_) or read more of her writing at writehanded.org

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