A small something

I was diagnosed with EDS type 3 in 2012, and have since been learning to live with theeillness. Before my diagnosis, I spent a good four years searching for a reason behind my deteriorating health and found no answer. Imagine being 18, three months into the course you loved, and suddenly starting to fall ill day by day. I tried everything that was “supposed” to help only to find out that it’s not a one size fits all kind of a situation. No one knew what was wrong with me and some refused to believe that someone in their late teens and early twenties could possibly be in so much pain. The struggle was real and it was beginning to affect my lifestyle. At one point, I thought I was living someone else’s life. It was devastating and unexplainably miserable. All it took was one medical professional to sit with me and really listen to my complaints and put together all my symptoms since young, which really didn’t seem out of place at that point.

After years or greiving over my old life and resisting what was coming, I finally started to work on acceptance and letting go. I could no longer run away from the fact that this was a chronic illness and the only way to move forward was to make peace with it as though it’s part of who I was, because it is. Sure, It doesn’t define who I am, but it plays a major role in every little or big decision in make in my life. It affects my energy levels, makes me put emphasis on bigger and greater things in life and hence also changes how I choose to live my life.

Things were only getting from bad to worse. The longer I held on, the more I struggled. The more everyone around me struggled, too. When I could no longer push, when my body started to scream and not just whisper, I figured it was time I made major lifestyle (my passion/activities I enjoy, the people I spent time with, my daily routine etc) and career change in order to accommodate and honour my health. And so I did.

I no longer see a point in creating suffering for myself by trying to push my body beyond its limit. It’s hard but I’ve realized that you have to make a choice every morning, to get up and do the best of your ability. Whatever your best is, is good enough. I’ve also realised the importance of staying true to your personal experience no matter what anyone says and also finding people who trust you.

Over the last few years, I’ve been working on adopting a new perspective towards my health and the choices I need to make. Firstly, I tell myself that these choices and decisions are FOR my health, not BECAUSE. Secondly, I choose to believe that I am fighting my illness by loving my body. Thirdly, I take conscious steps towards forgiving and letting go of what I thought my life “should” have been and adopt an attitude of gratitude as far as possible.

I won’t lie – living with chronic illness is tough. It complicates your life and makes you feel as if there is nothing more to life but being sick. It makes you feel like you have to climb this never-ending mountain all yourself and that no matter what you do, it’s not enough to change anything or make a real difference. It makes you think about the meaning of pain and suffering. Question your abilities and sense of self. I know the extra suffering that comes along with the physical pain.

Then again, every day is a new day and all we can do is acknowledge our pain and learn to work with it. It might require you to reassess your path every now and then and do what is in alignment with your health. That choice to work with your body while taking one little step forward towards what you love, or what frees you and makes you feel at peace is what reflects your strength and courage. It’s not your illness that defines you, it’s how your choose to live with it that does.

You have the choice to do something every day that makes you experience a small victory. And many victories put together allows you to overcome the burden of living with a life-altering illness.

Keep in mind that this ‘something’ I’m referring to doesn’t have to an incredibly big task or fit the expectation of the society in any way. It could be something as basic as getting out of the bed, holding a brush and writing a letter, doing an extra shift of your part-time job, washing your own hair, maybe cooking yourself a meal, meeting someone you love, reading a book to nurture your mind… anything that makes you feel like you’ve taken a step forward on that given day is a good enough start.

One day at a time.

One step at a time.

and, remmeber, you’re allowed to pause for as long as you need to before starting again.

Love,

MD

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Three years back

Just about three years back, probably towards the middle of a very #dark phase of hating my body, I swore upon myself to never travel until I felt #ready. Unfortunately, I didn’t believe I’d ever feel ready enough to live in this body or #travel with it. While most people of my age were getting excited about traveling, I was feeling trapped in a body that only looked normal.

There came a point where I didn’t want anything more but to be able to look after myself, #trust my body again and be okay with where I was at. It was such a #challenge because there was absolutely nothing trustworthy about my body. I realized I could care less about seeing the world or chasing goals if I couldn’t even wash my own hair or walk around my own house.

I left a part of my past behind, took a couple of major leaps of faith and started living on my own. I decided to create a routine which provided me with the kind of stability that my body lacked; that my #environment lacked too. The idea was to build myself up again, to become comfortable with the cards I was dealt , to #empower myself and honour my #health. I had to re-imagine a life that is different and also learn to believe that different doesn’t mean bad.

After three years of the very same #routine and #lifestyle – Physiotherapy, Pilates, allopathic medicines, complimentary therapies, lots of positive-self talk, re-connecting with my creative self, allowing myself to cry and experience grief fully, accepting limitations, fighting for instead of against my body, letting go of people, places and situations which didn’t serve my new self anymore, feeding myself nourishing food, learning to find reasons to be grateful — and something shifted within me. I suddenly craved a #change, a mini #break from this routine that I had created for myself. Some time away from it to see how far I’ve come.

I’ve got more information now. I can see the #progress I’ve made and there’s more to learn. To be honest, I don’t know when I’d feel ready to travel again and this time it doesn’t matter at all. It doesn’t make me feel any less or more because I believe time will come when it must.

Embrace.

 

Embrace yourself.

The whole of you. From head to toe.From skin to core. Every little scar, every little mark. Embrace every part that you think is too fat or too skinny. Every area that you’d rather cover, and every area you want to flaunt. Embrace the extra weight that you’ve put on or the weight you simply can’t gain. Embrace the ability for your body to change, and the truth that it has. Embrace everything that’s on and in your body, for it reflects the journey you’ve had, and the journey you are on.

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Embrace every little flaw that you think is a flaw – the bumps, the curves, the blemishes, the dimples or the moles. The thigh gap or the lack of one. Embrace every single dislocated joint, every set of horribly painful muscles. Embrace the faulty collagen that once made you feel at fault. Embrace the complexity of the cells that form you. Embrace the simplicity of your breath. Embrace every weakness, every strength that you have within you. Embrace the limitations, for that’s the first step towards working with your body and finding opportunities. Embrace your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual self because they make you the you that you are and the you that you’re about to become.

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Embrace your experience – it has torn you down into pieces, ripped all the courage out of you and built you up into a strong and beautiful person that you are. Embrace the conscious and the subconscious story you’ve written so far. Embrace all that you are creating from here on. Embrace every fragmented part of you that needs a safe spot to come together and bloom again. Embrace those cracks in your heart, those holes in your soul. Embrace that part of you which still needs to develop, learn and grow. Embrace the power within you to do all of it. Embrace the fear, the guilt, the despair and the grief that you have overcome. Embrace all that is still left to overcome. Embrace each of those disturbingly dark emotions that you feel, for that is where the alchemy begins. Embrace your deeper need to heal, for that is how the world starts to heal. One person at a time. Embrace your need for boundaries and personal space. Embrace your need for valuable connections and healthy relationships. Embrace your need to be what you want to be, and not what the world wants you to be. Embrace the disorder in your, the clutter, the chaos – it is what makes you human. Embrace all of it.

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Embrace your skills, your talents, your passion and your drive to keep moving forward. Embrace your need to go slow. Embrace your ability to know. Embrace the possibility to be lost, for you won’t always have the answers. Embrace the fact that you are unique, that you are different – like everyone else, and yet not. Embrace the sensitive being that you are. Embrace the truth that you feel more. Embrace the light and the shadow within you. Embrace the love and the pain that fills you up every single day. Embrace all the muddle and the uncertainty that you face, for each of us feels this way at some point. Embrace all that you are and all that you are not. Embrace your reality, your story and your dreams.

Embrace the perfectly imperfect and glorious mess that you are!

❤︎