An Open Letter to the Fighter in You

What does being a fighter look like?

I would say that I’m a fighter. Normally, I would classify myself as that. But, can we be real for a minute? This was me, a few weeks ago, in the middle of a mini-breakdown feeling tired and stressed. My doctor’s office reached out and said that my insurance wouldn’t cover my One Touch meter supplies that I had been using since I was in high school. They wanted me to switch over to an AccuChek meter, because those were the supplies they would cover. Switching meters. Not a big deal, right? Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, it’s nothing but a blip. But the whole situation made me break down.

breakdown

I don’t have a whole lot of mental breakdowns when it comes to my diabetes. When I was diagnosed with MS, I had more than I wanted, but that was a new diagnosis. I suppose things have just dulled with the years that I’ve been dealing with diabetes things. But, when I do break down about it, it’s usually because something happens with my insurance company. Why is that? I don’t know. I think it has something to do with the fact that I’m just reminded of the unpleasantness of it all. It’s usually not the situation that gets me. It’s this thought that comes with it: this is going to be my life, for the rest of my life. I can’t take a break. That’s when the tears usually come. It’s not enough that I have to fight my body every day, but now I have to fight you too?

Now, let me say this. It’s completely normal, and necessary even, to have these meltdowns. Sit and stay there for a couple hours if you need it. Maybe you need to take an afternoon. That’s fine. Take the time you need. I sat on the floor of my room, against the wall, just crying for a little while. I wasn’t sobbing, I wasn’t throwing things, I just kind of leaned against the wall and cried. And, normally, I hate it when people take pictures when they’re upset – like they’re asking for attention. I’m not one of those people. But, as my tears started to stop, I thought, you know what? This is fighting.  This is what people need to see and relate to when it comes to chronic illness. The constant images of people laughing, loving life, and thriving just aren’t real life sometimes. And, that’s okay.

But, here’s the lesson in how to fight: don’t stay there. That is the definition of fighting. That’s what fighting looks like. Feel your pain. Feel the frustration. Then, put on some eyeliner. Put on some lipstick. Put your hair in a bun. Make a cup of coffee. Go to the gym. Hit your punching bag. Start reading your book again. Talk to a friend. Read your Bible. Pray for strength. Whatever you do to pull yourself together, do that. Don’t stay in the despair. Don’t make everyone else feel your misery. Mark me, I didn’t say “get over it.” I said fight. Keep going. Pick yourself up and focus on what you can do.

Focus on being the best version of you.

real battle

Moments like this will happen. I’d be concerned if they didn’t. But, if you’re like me, you’ll keep being a fighter. You’ll keep getting yourself up from the floor. You will thank yourself for it one day. Don’t fall into the pit and stay there, wallowing. I have found that moments like these start to become few and far between. When you’re looking for ways to inspire those around you, when you’re looking for ways that you can help, those breakdown moments tend to diminish. Still, moments will happen. Let them. But don’t stay there. One fight at a time, guys. You got this.

If you’re struggling to get back up, I’ve been there. I wrote a book about how I struggled to get up after my MS diagnosis. Check it out and see who saved me! My book is called: Battleground, a young nurse’s journey through chronic illness. Available through me, amazon, barnes and noble, and xulon press.

 

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

-Isaiah 41:10

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 

-John 16:33

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