My boyfriend likes to tell me he’s proud of the way I’ve handled my illness. He says he’s proud of how I’m able to give myself shots, go in for regular blood tests and doctor’s appointments, and just handle all my medical stuff.
There is something so powerful in those words: I’m so proud of you. When you’re a kid, you hopefully get to hear your parents tell you their proud. But as an adult, how often do you really get to hear those words? Not nearly enough.
And man, it feels good to hear him say, “I’m proud of you.” Sure, there’s this voice of protest that wants to tell him that it’s strange to be proud of someone for doing what they have to do. For me, it doesn’t seem like I have a choice in the matter. I’ve been dealt a less than ideal hand. Who hasn’t in one way or another? I deal. Should I really be proud of myself for that?
So to all of you guys dealing with a chronic illness or a family member with a chronic illness, I want to tell you I’m proud of you. The path you’re on isn’t easy. It may seem that you’re just doing what you have to do to survive, but you’re juggling more than people ought to. You’re handling a really ungraceful illness with grace, and I’m proud of you.