I am now in my fourth year of being severely ill, but the progress I've made over the past year gives me hope that one day I will be joining the rest of the world outside my door once again.
But, and this is the hard part to accept, a lot of that hope of happiness hangs on the assumption my health will improve. While I'm not unhappy at the minute, I don't think I can ever be truly happy while this ill. I'm not saying I need perfect health - enough to work part-time and be able to see my friends and family often is all I'm asking for. But I need my health to be happy.
I'm sure this goes against everything we are supposed to believe. We are constantly bombarded with inspirational stories where people attribute their happiness to having lived/ living through illness and pain. Sometimes I worry I should be happy because of this experience, but the truth is I'm not. Being ill hasn't improved my life. Yes, I am more aware of how grateful I am for the little things like being able to eat what I want and having the internet, and yes, it has led to meeting new people, some of whom have become good friends. But that doesn't mean I'm happy with my life right now.
I'm sorry if this feels depressing, that's honestly not how I mean it to come across. I simply feel others need to know that being ill doesn't mean being positive all the time, or being happy that this happened to us. It doesn't mean we are supposed to be inspirational and appear strong all the time. It doesn't mean we are enjoying the fact we cannot work or even go to the shops when we like. And I'm certain I'm not the only one who feels this way (and if I am then guess I’m more of a unique little snowflake than I thought).