Juggling Illness and School
Growing up, I fell ill quite often and still do. Friends and family members continuously have the same comments, “Oh my God, you’re sick AGAIN?” or, “Wow, you get sick A LOT.” Every time I hear both of them, particularly the second one, I always think to myself, “What, you think I don’t know that?” The truth of the matter is that, whether they are genuine or not, it tends to sting. It leaves an invisible mark stamped on my body that says “I AM SICKLY.” When my brain translates that, it translates it as, “you are not good enough,” or “you will never be able to accomplish anything.” Before I know it, my mind has sucked me into a pit of doom that makes me feel worthless and unsuccessful.
It is very easy to be deceived by our own minds. Many people believe that if they think something, then that is how it is. In reality, our minds play tricks on us all the time. One of the biggest tricks that our minds can play on us is when it makes us feel like we cannot achieve something. It seems suddenly, that I am referring to mental health. What does that have to do with physical health? Well, everything! Our physical bodies and our minds are tied together as one. There are some doctors who try to ignore that fact, just so that they can pump us with pills and poisons. What we need to realize is that when our minds are healthy, our bodies will feed off of that, and vice versa. There are some times though, that sickness can overtake us, even when we are the most conscious and aware people.
I have always felt like a victim to my health; a prisoner inside a body that is sick beyond what I can clearly explain to those around me. A lot of us may suffer from this on a daily basis. On the outside, people see others who have colds or illnesses that are visible. However, there are many of us who walk around with “invisible illnesses” every single day. For example, I suffer from asthma and chronic migraine. There are others who suffer from psychological disorders, arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer, and much more. The people around cannot see those illnesses and thus, they conclude that we are not feeling the way we do. I’m here to tell you that I understand. It hurts. It’s not fair that they think that way, but at the same time, it’s not really their fault if they don’t understand, right?
This post has a very long intro (just to emphasize on the topic) but what I truly want to say to you is this. There have been many times that I have gotten sick in the middle of a semester, and have almost failed a class. Dropping classes and pushing back graduation dates are things that are common for those who suffer from illnesses—visible or invisible. It is very tedious and often causes depression. What you always need to remember is: DON’T LET YOUR MIND FOOL YOU. You are capable. You can achieve. Yes, your body has more issues than the typical person. Consider this a blessing, or whatever you want to, but know that it only makes you stronger. Don’t give up. Understand that your degree or certificate, or whatever it is that you are pursuing, is not going anywhere. It is at the end of the tunnel, waiting for you. Restless nights may be the only times you can find to do your work because you’re stricken with insomnia and pain. Then there are drowsy mornings from a bad night’s sleep and sleepy days from fatigue and more pain. These are all extremely disheartening…but what is most disheartening is if you give up on your dream because of them.
As they say, the strongest person is not one who has never fallen, but one who has fallen and has gotten back up.
Studying Psychology and Education, I have a passion for people--knowing them, understanding them, and helping them. That is the goal. Altruism is rare but it does exist. Believe in that.