To my wonderful friends and family (you know who you are),
I want to attempt to say thank you to you all but also sorry at the same time by writing this open letter. I’m not entirely sure I’ll manage but here goes. For those who haven’t met me in person but have supported me through the chronic illness community online, this is also for you.
I’ve been ill for several years. You stuck by me when I was in hospital in 2015. You listened to my every trial and tribulation going, no matter how trivial. You hugged me as I cried and listened as I ranted away. When I became pregnant, you metaphorically held my hair back as I vomited my way through each day and then supported me through a traumatic birth 9 months later. A year later you stuck by me as I battled through several chest infections, one after the other, with no apparent end in sight. You let me rant, cry and even swear as my way of processing what was going on and you never let me go. For all of that, thank you.
You’ve accepted the changes to my life, wheelchair and all, as just the new normal. You’ve listened as I’ve battled through getting the financial support we needed. You haven’t tried to force me into the latest fad you’ve heard about just because “my friend’s brother’s wife’s dog tried it and it worked!” You’ve simply just been there. Through thick and thin. And for all of that, thank you.
You’ve made food for us, you’ve looked after our daughter E, you’ve invited yourselves round for a cuppa and got the kettle going without me even asking. You’ve let me rest when I need to, knowing my energy levels are running low. For all of that, thank you.
But what have I been able to offer you? What have I been able to give in return? Nothing. By being so ill for years I haven’t been able to support you in the way I would have wanted and for all of that, I’m sorry.
When you’ve had your own struggles, what have I been able to do? A text message here, a what’s app there, that’s been the limit of the support I can offer. But yet you’ve stuck by me. I’ve lost some friends in the process and yet you haven’t gone anywhere. For all of that I’m both thankful and sorry at the same time.
I hope that in years to come I will be able to start repaying the support you’ve given to me, that somehow I’ll regain the strength to be there for you as you’ve been there for me.
But until that day comes, I want to say how very grateful I am to you.
With all my love,
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