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I should not have to be “grateful” for my disease

I save my gratitude to the people in my life who make it bearable. Especially for my mother who did not understand this journey at all and still finds new aspects of this disease confusing, just as it is for me. I save my gratitude for the medical support there is and the nurses especially who I see regularly and are always the brunt of aggressive patients.

I save my gratitude to that part of me that was forged before my disease, and keeps me going now.

I was 25, I had enough life experience to not feel entitled and in fact was already supremely grateful for all the chances I had in my life. Be it my high school or tertiary education, or my ability to work enough to travel while I could. I was already in a place where I had learnt that people will judge, and that people will be kind, and that I also impact their lives.

I already had empathy for my fellow humans, and was donating monthly to charities. I had lived with others and lived solo. I was a pretty typical young adult who already understood that life is unfair and some people carry a heavier burden- and I was already offering to help where I could. I also had spent a lot of time living closely with people to understand shared spaces and personal spaces and how not to take away from others.

So no. Disease is not some sort of magical privilege that I am grateful for. That takes the onus off us as a society to help people cope and live with all kinds of disadvantages.