You Are Not a Burden: A Letter to People With A Chronic Illness or Disability

“You are not a burden. You have a burden, which by definition is too heavy to carry on your own.” -Pravinee Hurbungs
Agnieszka Bladzik
Agnieszka Bladzik

To everyone living with a chronic or invisible illness or disorder: You are not a burden.

You are a miracle. God gave you the gift of life. He chose you to be here, wandering this mysteriously gorgeous Earth.

You are a friend. Make a list of the people who invite you on adventures, who have a hundred beautiful, ridiculous, embarrassing yet awesome pictures with you in them, and who you share endless pizza dinners (lunch, breakfasts, snacks, don’t lie) with. The people you make laugh when they want to cry and whose aid you go running to when they’re facing a hard time. You are a friend to so many.

You are a daughter, son, sister, brother, granddaughter, grandson, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle. Think back to every holiday being surrounded by the few or many special people who you know you can always run home to, no matter what. The ones who you share your best memories with and experienced your biggest arguments with. You are their family. Without you, they would be one less.

You are a gift. When you shine your light on this world and share yourself with the people in it, I promise you that you are presenting something unique that no one else is able to. You have a purpose here—a purpose designed solely for you.

You are a warrior. The physical pain you endure every day, some days worse than others, is a pain not many could endure. Every day you’re getting stronger, even when it feels like you’re weakening. You fight through the aching, throbbing, pulsing, nauseating, piercing, and everlasting horrific sensations that are indescribable to others who don’t know what it feels like to be in your body.

You are a fighter. You fight through that pain, and somehow continue to keep moving forward in your journey. You fight on, whether it’s getting through the work day without having to call out early due to a worsening symptom or it’s biting your lip to fight the pain during your hundredth unsuccessful IV insertion. You fight through the frustration, sadness, anxiety, loneliness and helplessness that come along with your physical pain. Your fortitude is immeasurable in size.

You, my dear friend, are not a burden. Your illness is a burden.

It is your burden. But even being solely yours, it cannot be carried by you and you alone.

Because you are a friend, family member, gift, warrior and fighter, the chances are that you have a support system to help you carry that burden. Do not be afraid to ask for help. For the ones who are meant to stick around, will ask how they can help lift that burden whenever they can.

You are not a burden and you were not made to carry this burden alone. TC mark

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