We have just passed my six month anniversary of my illness. Typically anniversaries are something to celebrate – so I’ve decided this particular one shouldn’t be any different. I could dwell on the fact that I’m six months into an undiagnosed illness with no signs of a diagnosis anytime soon or I could celebrate all the beautiful things that have come out of this time. I have recently come to the conclusion that overall, I am thankful for my illness. This does not mean I wake up every day and think “I am so thrilled to be sick today” because that would just be sadistic and just plain fucked up. My being thankful for my illness means I am thankful for all the opportunities and lessons my illness has given me.
The most important and biggest opportunity that I’ve been given thus far is the time to write. Writing has been a passion of mine since I learnt how to put words on a page and string together a sentence. Since leaving high school however, I never had the time to write for pleasure between writing law essays and working three jobs. Deciding to write my blog was the first step in my healing journey. It both allowed me to express my struggle but it also reminded me how much I loved to write. I fell in love all over again as I put my feelings and experiences down on paper (or rather down on Microsoft Word). My blog hasn’t been my only writing opportunity though. I have also been given the chance to contribute to an incredible magazine – www.doshitmagazine.com, having my first article recently published and more to come! This opportunity made me extremely nervous but with the encouragement of the owner, I decided to face the challenge and go for it! Writing is honestly such a personal thing, it exposes you in ways you can’t understand unless you also write. Each piece I write I honestly feel like I’m stark naked in front of a large audience. But at the same time it is such a beautiful and powerful tool that provides much more than just a creative outlet. These writing opportunities would have never been an option if it wasn’t for my illness. Not only has it given me something worth writing about but it has also given me the courage and strength to put myself out there each week. I am so thankful for these opportunities and can’t wait to see where they take me. Being sick has allowed me to follow my passion of writing and who knows – I might even make a career out of it one day!
Writing hasn’t been my only great opportunity though. I have recently worked on the set of a feature film as a hair and makeup assistant. This was such a fantastic experience where I got to work with the greatest bunch of people who I hope to always keep in touch with. I learnt so much about the film industry and now have so much appreciation for this art-form. I learnt so much about the beauty industry within film and loved every second of it. This few weeks on set gave me routine back in my life and it was really nice to be taken out of the house each day with no pressure to perform if I wasn’t up to it. This was an opportunity that I would have never been able to take with my old lifestyle and for that I am thankful yet again that my illness has allowed me to explore these new things! Check out the film’s Facebook page, it’s going to be such a great film. https://www.facebook.com/thegreenhousefilm/
I have also had the time to build some incredible relationships with so many people. The amount of support, kindness and compassion I’ve received has been overwhelming. Being sick has showed me how many people care so deeply for me and would go to the ends of the world to help me out. I am so grateful for the support of everyone, from customers at work, my friend’s parents and strangers on the internet. There are so many people who I would have otherwise never connected with, that because of my illness we have built unbreakable friendships and for that I am so thankful. I am so supported and loved through my journey – I couldn’t possibly do it without you guys.
My illness has also taught me many important life lessons that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It has shown me that new directions are not necessarily always bad directions, it is ok to veer from the path you originally planned and follow a new one. I had a very comprehensive 10 year plan which has since been reconsidered and I have learnt to be ok with this. I have also learnt that it is ok to not be ok. I have good days and bad days, but then I also have awful days. But that’s totally ok, I’m entitled to be sad sometimes and I’m entitled to grieve. These few awful days amongst the rest do not define my journey, they merely add to my strength. I have learnt to be ok with sometimes not being ok. Another important lesson I’ve been taught over the past six months is that not every day is a good day but there is good in every day. Even on my worst days I manage to find positives, not matter how small they may be. By realising this and becoming aware of the good in everyday it becomes very easy to live a happy life, no matter what is going on. These are just a few of the many things my illness has shown me over the past six months, I could honestly go on for a lot longer. I am so thankful for the wisdom and growth that has come with my illness.
I am thankful for all the beautiful rainbows that have come with the storm of my sickness, including you reading this post.