Editor’s note: In recognition of Awareness Day/Month, each year in May, Clarissa Shepherd shares a special message of inspiration and encouragement in honor of all the brave souls living with Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, and/or Lyme Disease. Thank you, Clarissa!
Oh, the battle scars. Were we to mention them all, they would fill a book.
Each of us recalls a different life – a life before chronic illness. We’re on a different road now, one less traveled.
Our hearts have been scarred in ways that aren’t easy to describe.
We walk a path that only a few walk with us. We certainly don’t malinger in this place. We struggle daily to find ways to improve, ways to find new interests, ways to move forward, even in our pain.
This in itself is miraculous – given the distress and exhaustion we live with every day.
We live with the scars of being riddled with guilt. Actually, we falsely add that guilt to our already worn body and mind. We neither asked for nor caused our illness. We neither asked for nor caused our lives to be turned upside down. We certainly never asked to be forgotten, abused, neglected, and abandoned. Many times, the wounds from doctors, family, and friends leave some of the most painful battle scars.
We literally fight each day living in “survival mode”.
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I find it amazing and courageous that we still find a path into a new way of life. We open new roads – roads to learning new things – taking small steps that lead to bigger steps and doing that even when we know there will be a price to pay later.
The battle scars from being so ill, being brought into a life not of our choosing, dealing with a non-participating world – these scars have rebuilt us. Somewhere along the way, the scars heal, and we become stronger.
There are days we may not feel strong, yet dear ones, you are more courageous than you know and carry more bravery than many people will ever experience.
We live with great sacrifice and still move forward, discovering new ways to survive.
Wear those battle scars with pride.
Let us carry this truth with us. Let us imagine the raising of a mighty sword, as we find new hope on our journey. That sword will lead the way through the battle, just as other great warriors have done before us.
You’ll find help and be welcomed in our Facebook group Fellow Travelers.
Clarissa Shepherd is founder of the uplifting Fellow Travelers: Support and Chat (ME/CFS/FM) online Facebook support group and author of the book of natural healing: Find Your Way: A Guide to Healing While Living With Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.
Here’s the European link for Clarissa’s book.