It doesn’t take long to realize that history reveals there have been so many wars, deaths, empires and diseases over the centuries that have changed the world many times over. It’s been an endless cycle of fighting and change.
Yet what have we learned?…
A quick jump back in time to the Roman Empire and we see a time of mighty conquests and battles. Life expectancy was very low and the average age that most people died was generally in their 20s and 30s; and living beyond that was rare and remarkable.
The most common occupation for young men sennet to be that of a soldiers and warrior. It was considered the ultimate prize to die in combat. There was no greater honour than to die fighting for your country or cause; even if you were still only a young boy by today’s standards.
In those times it seemed that The manner in which you died was irrelevant as long as you died for something you believed. Ie fighting for your king, your religion, your betrothed, your honour or your lands. Boys as young as 12 and 13 were placed in battle and not spared from the horrors or realities of war. Dying for a cause seemed more important than living for one.
I have often thought of and described my illnesses as my own battles and fights and I feel quite justified in speaking in such terms. My battle is a 24/7 one, which never ends. It is very real to me and I believe many others fighting a similar battle would agree.
I found myself thinking of how it would be useful if I could see an end to this battle, but as a chronically ill person we are not given this knowledge. We fight the unknown enemy for an unknown duration. We only know that we must accept the fight until it ends.
We are also not given the honour of being remembered for the time spend fighting, or that we never recieve accolades or tributes for what we have endured. Unlike centuries ago, our fallen or veterans will not have monuments in their honour and are often regarded as burdens and waste of life. A cruel way to remember someone for some of the hardest battles ever fought.
In my time fighting these diseases I have met such veterans. I have seen the casualties. I have heard of terrible losses and painful, heartbreaking stories that I will remember for the rest of my life. Yet the most common theme to our shared battles and our ability to keep fighting is that
We all have to decide what we think is worth fighting for… Fighting for the rest of our lives for.
If we don’t have a very strong sense of something to fight for, the battle becomes an almost impossible one.
Sometimes the hardest things in this life is finding the things worth fighting for and holding on for.
If you have children then often you will want to live for them. If you have a partner then many of us fight on for love. However very few, including me, ever feel that we, alone, are reason enough to fight for .
To take the pain. To face the judgements and apathy of the world and feel we need to fight for ourselves and others like us. It doesn’t feel enough.
I hope I am not alone in feeling that there is a growing feeling that sufferers around the world have had enough of being pushed aside and that we are starting to believe we are worth fighting for.
I would love for all of us to fight for US. To change perceptions and misinformation about the chronically ill. I, for one, feel it’s time and I want to see this fight become a victory for all.
Living for a cause and believing a cause is the hardest battle anyone can ever fight, but we are worth it!