My Paper Chain of Woe

Sometimes we experience miserable chronic illnesses and as they drag on, we wonder if they are going to remain forever.

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We have an amazing doctor. We have had a few miraculous experiences with her that lead me to believe that it is no coincidence that she is our doctor. Aside from those experiences, we just like her very much. She is plain spoken, intelligent, and she cares about her patients.

I recently got over a month long cold. When I was three weeks into my miserable upper respiratory infection, I took my child to the doctor for a check up. While I was there, I whined a bit about my cold, and I asked her in my most pathetic voice, “Am I going to be sick forever?” I will never forget the penetrating look that she gave me when she looked me in the eye and said firmly, “No.”

Colds come and go. They are miserable for a time but then they are gone so completely that it is hard to remember what it was even like to be sick.

Sometimes we experience miserable chronic illnesses and as they drag on, we wonder if they are going to remain forever. There is no timeline on these things. Oh, how I wish there were. But in the face of an interminable illness, it is hard not to wonder when it will end.

Part of what makes depression so hard is that I can’t help but keep score. I have built my paper chain of woe, link by link and day by day and I carry all of them with me everywhere I go.

But slowly I am learning to let go of each day as it passes. Good or bad it is gone and I cannot get it back.

Perhaps I really will be sick forever, I am hopeful that I won’t. But regardless of what my future holds, my burden will be lighter if I only bear the cares of one day at a time.

Light The Darkness,

Dana Nevels

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