Search
  • kaylajuettner3

I Am Me With My Illness, Not Despite It.

I couldn’t tell you the number of times I’ve been told that I’m “Strong despite my disability” or I’m “Active for someone so sick”. It’s kinda a backhanded compliment. Because I’m not just outgoing for a sick girl or brave for someone who’s disabled. I’m brave. I’m strong. I’m whole. Period.

I love art and makeup and cooking. I study theatre and business. I am lively and bubbly. But I am not these things despite my illness. I have become this through my illness. My sickness is a part of who I am. It's a piece of me. Just like any other part of who I am.

We see so many posts and stories about how incredible it is that someone who is sick and/or disabled managed to do something. That even with that ”huge burden” they managed to live their lives. But this isn't the right narrative. It's not ours. It comes from those on the outside. Because we live our lives with illness and we learn what we can and can't do and we're still just as human as anyone else. The ”despite the illness” narrative is patronizing, as if we are small children.

Sickness isn’t the end all be all of your life. It's life. We learn from it and grow from it. It makes us tired and angry and frustrated on a lot of days. Other days it makes us strong, and organized, and beautiful. I am not me despite my illness, I am me with my illness.

To learn more about me and any of my illnesses follow me on Instagram @chronically.kayla

19 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All

HeartBreak

Wrapping around me, Holding on tight. Surrounding me, Hard to see the light. Nights up alone, Pain so strong it’s alive. Stuck in the “Pain Zone,” I honestly don’t know how I Survive. Every day, every

Mental Health month

One of the hardest things about getting diagnosed with a chronic illness is the effects they have on your mental health. When I was going through the diagnosis process, my mental health was at an all

Finals Season

One of the hardest parts of being chronically ill in college is finals season. Most chronic illnesses flare when stress is heightened, and naturally finals season is a time that stress .levels go thro