I need to start living as though I am a healthy person. Saving my most cherished experiences for the future, for when I am physically nourished and capable, isn’t working for me.
Putting life on hold
My dreams and expectations for a future overflowing with family, adventure, joy, laughter, and beauty were abruptly put on hold after I graduated college. At 24 years old, I devoted every last shred of vitality to finishing my college education. My peers were poised to enter the world with boundless opportunities in their futures. Meanwhile, I clung to the threads of my existence. A tiny voice in my head told me that if I lived, and if I figured out how to coordinate the basic yet elusive prescription for health, I could still have my very own family someday.
I thought I’d be healthy by now. I thought I’d be able to pursue the dreams that have illuminated my heart since childhood. But years have passed, and I continue to drown in a chronic state of survival.
Ready for a change
I’ve saved my most treasured dreams for later. But maybe I can have them now. I am willing to change my perspective that chronic illness and the beautiful life I desire must be mutually exclusive. I’m ready to believe they can peacefully coexist despite significant challenges.
I want to engage more with people. I want adventures that provide stimulation, enjoyment, and learning opportunities. I want to listen to what other people have to say, existing completely in the moment.
I’m not 16 anymore. I’m 32. My time is now. I want to build a life with a wonderful man and create a family.
A bumpy road ahead
But I am also tired. My body trembles with fatigue as I dictate this column to my phone. Every word sticks petulantly to my tongue. Speaking requires significant effort. With seemingly incessant obstacles to express myself, I wonder time and again how I will ever find the magnificent partner for which I am pining.
I alternate between strategizing and planning socialization opportunities and collapsing for endless amounts of time, which devastates me. I am committed to conjoining my chronically complicated existence with fulfilling relationships, but the pathway to success is murky at best. Meshing my truest desires and the harrowing realities of my life have proved to be daunting.
I am determined, but I am tired. I am so very tired.
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