Here’s the thing to remember when you have been sick or sad or otherwise sporting the cosmic “kick me, hard” sign on your back for a long, long time: this is not who you are.
You are not this collection of aches and pains that consume your body now. You are not this bundle of anger and fear and despair that you feel you are now. You are not these bills, these woes, these slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. These are things that are happening to you? That’s just what they are: things that are happening to you.
Your essence lies deep within, possibly being tested to the limits of its endurance, probably pissed off, but there, at the heart of you, is the heart of you.
Have I been tested? Sure. Yeah. Have the tests been as arduous or lengthy as many of my brethren? Hell, no. For as lousy as my Crohn’s has made me feel, I wouldn’t trade places with anyone. A-n-y-o-n-e. The devil you know, and all that.
But I forget sometimes, and maybe sometimes you do, too. And sometimes when I forget, there’s no one there to remind me: it was not ever thus.
So I will remind you and perhaps, the next time I fall down the well and can’t see the light, you will lower down a basket with a snack and a comforting note to remind me: this is not who you are, this wet darkness, but something you’re sitting in. Maybe you will even find the right length of rope or somesuch to throw down there so I can climb out.
But mainly, I hope you will be there for me, or whomever needs you in the moment, to make sure I do not forget:
It was not ever thus.