Newly diagnosed with a chronic illness….
Let me tell you how it can feel….
There is a big fancy restaurant.
There are many many tables.
The menu is extensive.
The chairs are comfy.
It is well lit.
In a back corner there is a shadowy area that nobody sees….
or that everyone pretends they do not see….
There seems to be a table in that corner….
I spent my life sitting in the big fancy restaurant.
I thought it was all for me.
I thought I belonged there.
I thought I could order whatever I wanted.
Then one day
one of the waiters tapped me on the shoulder and said..
“Miss, there has been a mistake. You do not belong at this table.”
Despite my protestations….
and my expensive cloth napkin falling to the floor
I was led to the table in the corner..
in the shadows
This table is nowhere near as roomy.
The chairs are not as comfy.
The waiters are curt and unfriendly.
The napkins are in those crappy little dispensers.
and the menu
oh God the menu
it is so restricted.
I realize I can’t have all of the things I thought I could have.
I realize I am going to have to fight harder to get what those other people get.
I realize my life is …..
Nothing like I thought
I keep trying to convince the wait staff that I belong at the other tables
I keep telling the other people at this table that I am not like them.
Nobody is fooled except me.
Finally, I start listening to the other people at the table. My comrades.
And I realize that I DO belong with them.
And then I realize how brave and courageous we all are.
And then I realize that I am PROUD to belong with them.
We are still in the corner
in the shadows.
We may not have all of that fancy stuff, that amazing treatment, those options and opportunities….
but let’s party anyway.
They may have seated us at the crappy table….
but they can’t stop us from dancing on this fucking table.