Through blogging, social media, and writing in general, I’ve been able to share my story and use my illness to reach out to others.
But my biggest fear (since I was a kid), is my illness becoming my defining trait.
I fear that I won’t be Megan.
I’ll be “sick Megan.”
I won’t be a good writer.
I’ll be “the sick girl who writes.”
I fear my personality traits and talents will be masked by my illness.
I fear when people look at me, my illness will be the only thing they see.
This fear is honestly why I lied to most people on my life about my illness and kept it hidden for so long.
I didn’t want my illness to be my identity.
But sometimes it is.
Sometimes I proudly proclaim myself as the “sick chick.”
I openly talk about my illness and just how much it truly impacts my life.
I wear my scars as badges of honor.
But then there are times when I’m introduced as the “sick girl,” or told “It’s nice to have a hobby when you’re disabled,” when it comes to my talents.
Or I am proclaimed an “inspiration” by people who truly didn’t like me and made that fact known until I became public about my illness.
These moments make me want to melt into a wall and disappear.
It’s a never-ending battle when something as awful as illness dictates so much of your life.
It’s a battle trying not to let something that controls almost every aspect of your life define you, and become your identity.
The thing is, I am sick — really freaking sick. No wish upon a star is going to change that. And that illness is a huge part of my life. I think about it when I wake up in the morning, and when I go to bed at night. Because it’s always there, making itself known.
But sick isn’t the only thing I am.
I’m a writer, a singer, an aspiring photographer, LDS,and closet book nerd. I am a unicorn and narwhal enthusiast, animal addict, and a major people person. I’m compassionate, “spazzy,” enthusiastic, optimistic, sarcastic, giving, funny, brave, determined, smart, short tempered, and stubborn.
Being sick has given me what I consider to be some of my best traits.
I never want to hide my illness like I did in the past. I hope to continue to have new opportunities to share my story and be a part of the chronic illness and rare disease communities for the rest of my life.
My illness makes me a better person. But it doesn’t define who I am. If others can’t see that, it’s their loss — not mine.
I am a “sick chick.”
And I’m dang proud to be one.
But that’s just one part of the elaborate, beautiful, complicated quilt which is my life. And I hope I can always remember that.