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The Day I Lost 'Her'

How I Lost Myself to Chronic Illness

By Becca VolkPublished 5 years ago 3 min read
Pain isn't always pretty.

When I was a child I would look up through the trees and wonder if God was looking back at me. A blonde braid down my back, and some spare change in my pocket, I skipped through the autumn air jingling away. It felt very grown up to be without my parents for an hour or two. I was always a Wendy Darling, wishing to grow up.

“Shh,” the teacher whispered on Sunday, her hands moving to still our wiggling bodies “He’s in the breeze. Listen, God is with us everywhere.” All I heard was the leaves rusting and all I felt was the boy behind me pull my hair.

When the pain came I ran to God. As the disorders and diagnoses plagued my body I cried for help and tried to hear something in the rusting of my heart. I knew Christ was all around me, but much like Helen Keller said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched—they must be felt with the heart.”

I simply feel Pain.

Sickness has a unique way of sucking your spirit; it goes into your very bones and breaks down the person you once were. Your friends draw farther away unintentionally, some even intentionally. Oh, and that your job you love? Gone because you can't even get out of bed or off the couch. You name your heating pad Patricia because soon enough she's your only friend besides the meds.

Sickness is silent, but deadly. It can take your literal life, or it can take you away from life itself. We, the chronically ill, are the ultimate caged birds, just trying to mend our wings.

My mother had a bad kidney infection as a child and couldn’t move from her bed except to play piano once a day, all the while watching the other kids play outside her window for months. She told me that she "hated to practice while they played and so I never played again when healed."

We all have ways we cope; looking at the outside world seems so unreachable. Yet, I would show up to work, and I work hard even when the pain is making me cry into my computer keys. Perseverance is the superpower of those who live every day with unbearable pain.

There is a silent army of bruised warriors hiding in their beds, lingering beneath heating pads, and drowning in medication.

Pain is real and so is my illness. For three years I have been trying to fix my body and all the ways it was broken, and yet I still haven’t. I’m still sick and I’m still sad.

I take 2 steps forward and 200 steps back.

I am but a shadow of the person I once was. No longer is there the fearless braided-haired girl with a backpack too big to carry but she carried it anyway. The friends I used to love have left me behind. So now I have no friends to hug when if I go to school. Well, the good new is now I can't even go to school.

Daily pain cuts me so deeply it keeps me up all night. The medical bills keep piling and my parents and I are out of ideas. We are drowning in three nearly four years of invisible pain and sickness.

Every dream I have seems to die; like a popsicle in July. I build them up so grand they hurt all the more when they fall apart like a large sandcastle. So, now I must pick a smaller bucket to press and pack me dreams into. A running child storms right through as I try to rebuild.

Every time I try again, the tower crumbles.

Giving up on my sand building, I hide in the depths of the water. It is where we speak but no one can hear. Bursting up for air I realize the sun has been setting. The tide of pain has carried me far away from who I was.


About the Creator

Becca Volk

Becca is a chronically-ill lady, writes on health, humanity, and what it truly means to be alive. She invites you into her unique world, and the imagination, that comes with being stuck in bed. The world may be still, but words keep moving.

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