I walk this dark and winding path between wellness and illness, moving between darkness and light on this journey of life. As I move between well-being and an uneasy state of uncertainty, a roller-coaster of emotions moves over me. I am brought to my knees with doubt, restlessness, discontent, anger, and fear. At times, I feel heavy with the weight of the world upon my shoulders; other moments, I feel as light as a feather, carefree, and unencumbered. Sometimes joyfulness will overtake me. At other times sadness seems to have the upper hand. These periods of opposing emotions come and go without explanation or warning.
What is the difference between being cured or being healed, I ask myself? I struggle moment to moment, trying to define each and their relevance in my life. The lines are blurred that separate the two within my mind. I do know that I don’t need pity, for pity weighs me down; it suffocates my spirit to strive for what’s beyond my reach, to try grasping for what others might call the impossible. What I desire, what I need, is an acknowledgment of my existence, that I matter as a unique individual and not simply a collection of charts and data on a cold and impersonal computer screen. I yearn for compassion and the strength to fight the battles that await me. I need someone to accompany me on this journey, to be present with me, to help bolster my resolve.
To be well is not the total absence of sickness, nor is it to be cured. Rather, a state of wellness is a state of healing. It is a state of healing of the spirit and mind that enables me to walk my path with dignity.
My doctor, my healer, please accompany me on this journey of illness. Be my guide, for my path is filled with detours and roadblocks. Be there to support, to comfort, to listen. Do not become dismayed when you can not cure; you are only human, and all diseases can not be cured as hard as you might try. To heal me is a far greater accomplishment. Healing allows me to recognize my victories, despite the losses I encounter. It allows me to walk my life path with truthfulness and resilience. For this, I will be thankful.
Michele Luckenbaugh is a patient advocate.
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