- Waiting to see the light, been waiting all my life.
- Show me the way, won’t you show me a way.
- I wanna come out of the dark, but breaking away is so hard.
- Show me a way, just show me a way.
- Show me which way to go, can’t do this by myself.
- Can’t do it, don’t know how I should play.
- The cards that I’ve been dealt, can’t do it.
- Is anybody listening? Can anybody answer my prayers?
- Please say yes.
- Does anybody feel the same?
- And is there anybody who cares?
- Life’s unfair, it’s so unfair
Tuesday September 13, 2016 we lost a Crohn’s warrior, Alison Saren. For the past month, I have been trying to find the words to write. My emotions bounced between sadness, frustration, then back to sadness. Alison, like so many other warriors, reached wits end in this fight with chronic illness and pain and took her own life. Alison, like so many others, silently fought a mental battle along with her physical battle.
I didn’t know Alison personally, but knew her from a Facebook Crohn’s support group we both joined. She was always very vocal about her journey, including the highs and lows. While I only read her Crohn’s journey periodically on FB, my heart grieves for her and those that loved her. My heart breaks that yet another warrior saw death as the only way to end the lifelong torture of sickness and pain that is life with Crohn’s and other autoimmune diseases. My heart also breaks because deep down I know that Alison’s death is another loss of life among countless others with no end in sight.
Alison’s death reminded me of why I started this blog and the importance of blogs like this. Her story reminded me that people battling chronic illness and pain need a safe place where they can talk candidly, ask questions, feel supported and encouraged, but also, be frustrated and angry without judgment. Alsion’s blog reminded me of why I will continue to unapologetically tell me truth and journey, even when I am tired of talking about it msyelf.
If those you love battle chronic illness and pain, check in on them. LOTS of people battling chronic illness and pain, also silently fight depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Ask the warriors around you how they are doing, and if they need anyting. But, most important, listen to their answer and be present. Look for signs that they are not handling this fight as well as they suggest. If your question of “how are you doing?” is met with “fine”, probe deeper. That one tiny extra step to ensure the person really is ok, could save their life.
Fellow warriors, you WILL get tired in this fight. When you do, let others carry your load for a bit. Talk to someone…even if it is just someone in the virtual universe. Everyone does not have a great support system,this is a sad but important truth to recognize. BUT, talk to someone. Let someone know that you are reaching the end of your rope.