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When my illness hit me four years ago, I was sure that it was temporary. I knew in my mind that in time, I would be back to perfect health without any worries. But as time went on, I only saw the opposite happen. And even when I was 100 pounds, I still felt that complete wellness was possible. I always prided myself on my optimism through periods that would break many people in half.
Things have changed now. That unwavering optimism has all but disappeared. The fact is that I don't have the types of illnesses that go away. And for that reason, I've reached a new state of mind: acceptance.
No, it doesn't mean that I'll ever quit trying to get my health back. But I have to accept who I am, in both body and soul. I could get caught up waiting forever to go back to school and get a "normal" job. Instead, I have to recognize what my resources are in the state of health that I'm currently in. It does me no good to keep thinking about someday, when someday never comes. So I plan on embracing the things that I CAN do. Hopefully, it's enough to allow me to live a good life.
I go to the supermarket often, at least three times per week. Since I can't eat, I buy a lot of things to drink. Mainly I buy Sprite, Water, Gatorade, and Nantucket Nectar Lemonade. They are the
staples of my "diet". But it is definitely strange to be the guy who always goes through the checkout line with a cart loaded with drinks, and no food. A few employees have even asked why I buy so many beverages, but no food. When I tell them that I don't eat, they don't understand. "How can someone just not eat? I could NEVER do that!". But the fact is that you do what you have to do to survive, even if you're the odd man out. As hard as it is without food in my life, and as hard as it is to ignore all of the delicious goodies in those aisles, strangely, I think I'm getting used to it. And I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.