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Surviving vs. Living

Updated: May 9, 2022

I read a quote the other day, "Im done surviving, I want to live". Such a simple phrase, but it struck a cord in me. I realized that up until that moment I had always just been surviving since I was diagnosed. In high school I would always tell myself, "oh if I can just make it until I graduate it will be fine". In college I did the same thing if I could just make it to graduation everything would be ok. I realized there were many moments in my life where I would do this. I would just skate by managing my symptoms enough to get what I needed to done. Not truly facing reality or fighting to get better. I was more in a state of ignoring my chronic illness until I could deal with it later. News flash but later never came and I just kept telling myself that If I could just make it until the next thing and then the thing after that I would be ok. Sure I would have some fun moments or trips here and there, but I couldn't fully enjoy them because I was stuck in survival mode. I don't want to get to the end of my life and realize that I just survived and sure I could do that and blame it on my chronic illness, but that would be a lie and the easy way out. I want to live. I want to live a life so full that every moment is a memory. I want to have no regrets. Why even live at all if all i'm doing is surviving. Surviving for what? What is my end goal and the answer is I don't even know. So rather than surviving for the future unknown I want to live for the future unknown. Surviving is hard enough with chronic illness, but living, living takes courage. People will always doubt you because you don't fit their version of a sick person or they think you shouldn't be able to do certain things. It takes courage to know that many people will judge and doubt you, but you do it anyway because it's what you want. With chronic illness you're given this choice of fighting to live your life despite your struggles or letting your struggles consume you and be accepted by everyone around you This is a difficult question to face and the easy answer is always to let your struggles consume you. Instead of living the way that you think people want you to, live for yourself. I have realized that I need to live for myself more and I hope you come to this realization too.

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