My name is Mary. I’m 36. I have a chronic illness that, as of right now, is still nameless. A year ago, because of severe fatigue and several years of poor health, I lost my independence and ability to take care of myself. I couldn’t go grocery shopping without feeling like I just tried to run a race without training for it. Doing the most mundane things, like feeding myself and cleaning my apartment were difficult to impossible. I had to move back home with my parents after living a very independent life.
My symptoms are complicated and strange enough that none of my 5 highly skilled doctors have been able to diagnose it. I’ve been told that with time, I’ll get better. For now, most of my time is spent in bed, on the couch, or in a recliner. I don’t want life to be that way. I miss the things I used to do. I want to wake up one day and just be better. Or, if I have to live this way, I want to put a name to this thing that seems to rule my life. I want to read about it on the internet and find groups of people who have the same thing. I want to know it and fix it. But I can’t. It’s nameless and mysterious. And I’m slowly understanding how many people are out there just like me.
So here I am, starting a blog about this adventure. Why? Well, years ago, I started a blog and it didn’t go so well. I don’t think I was confident enough that people would want to read it, and I didn’t have a lot of purpose in what I was writing about. That was before all this chronic illness. Now, I look back at that person and realize how much I’ve changed. Hopefully, grown. And I have much more purpose in what I’m writing. I think God urged me to start this blog for several reasons.
First, I love to write, even though most days I don’t think I’m very good at it.
Second, writing down my journey through this mysterious illness, all the sad, happy, funny, and frustrating, helps me process it and how I’m dealing with it.
And third, writing it all down in a public place like a blog lets other people who might be going through the same things be encouraged by what I’m writing.
What I write isn’t going to be perfect or all-encompassing of what every single person with a chronic illness feels. It’s just going to be me. And the foundation of my life is my relationship with Jesus. Some days, I’m enjoying my relationship with Him and relishing to joy and peace He gives me. A lot of the time, though, I’m struggling to find that joy and peace, and trying to really figure out how my faith in Jesus works itself out in my often bleak reality. So here it is. This life unusual. I hope that what you read here encourages you.