Dear future husband,
It’s been a while since I’ve written you, and boy, have I changed.
I am no longer the girl who’s tethered to an IV pole, slowly wasting away.
I’m no longer the girl who is terrified to even think of the future because she prayed for weeks that she could just hold on one more day.
I may be sick, but I’m (currently) no longer dying.
For the first time, in a long time, I’m allowing myself to dream of my future because I believe that I may actually get a chance at one.
As I’m dreaming of everything I want in life, you have popped into my head so many times.
I wonder what you’re going to look like. I wonder how we are going to meet (or if we have already met) and what our story will be.
And of course, I always wonder what our love will be like for you. I wonder how you’ll cope with loving someone who will never be healthy. Someone who struggles even on her best health days and is lucky to survive her worst ones.
I wonder how you’re going to handle the thousands of unknowns that my illness brings, especially the uncertainty around my ability to have children and my life expectancy.
I fear how you will be able to deal with the worst parts of my life.
Surgeries, hospital stays, blood draws, IVs, tumors, blood products, scans, medicine, brain fog, inflammation, nausea, vomiting, flares, bloating, doctor appointments, medication, side effects, insurance coverage (or lack thereof), giant question marks, and plain old bad news. I hope you will respect the“normal” parts of my not-so-normal life.
The truth is, though, my health will be a whole new, terrifying world for you. A part of me will always fear that my illness, and all that comes with it, will be too much for you to handle.”
After all, it’s often too much for me to handle. I didn’t have a choice in this, but you do.
I do fear how you’ll react to me, but I no longer fear you.
For years, I’ve avoided serious relationships because I’ve feared how my illness would impact your life and how your reaction to it would affect mine. I’ve feared that you may fall in love with the tall, outgoing, happy-go-lucky girl with bright eyes, a silly laugh, and a big smile.
But I feared that the second my chronic illness and all my “broken pieces” start to show, you would run, like so many others. I’ve worried that you would instantly forget the happy-go-lucky girl with the bright eyes and the big smile and only see me as all the things I can’t control.
So I built a wall and I guarded it with my sarcastic sense of humor. I made myself permanently reside in the “friend zone” determined to not let anyone get close enough to me to see my broken pieces.
But since I last wrote you, I’ve realized something very important.
You are broken, too.
As a matter of fact, every person on Earth is broken in some way.
Being chronically ill just makes some of my “breaks” more visible.
You may always have parts of yourself that you don’t like. The battles in your life will all too often feel like never-ending wars, like they’re too much to handle. You are going to have weaknesses, traits that I will struggle to handle, too.
But loving you, broken pieces and all, is going to be worth it, just like loving me, broken pieces and all, is going to be worth it.
I’ve learned and finally come to believe that we are so much more than our broken pieces. We are infinitely more than the things we hate about ourselves. I’m working on taking down that wall, brick by brick, so when that fateful day eventually arrives, I’ll be ready to let you in.