It’s the end of the first semester, I’ve had three deadlines, my lymph glands feel swollen, I’m still on 10 prescription tablets per day and my health has been a bit of a blur. But I’m oddly grateful for it all; it teaches me to take care of my body with more gratitude.

My physical body may not be as sound as it once was, but my ability to learn and grow mentally is still very much working. I still love to read, play, learn and create as much as I did as a child, if not more so now. I love to think on my own terms in order to get a better result, even if that is out of schedule with the environment around me. As long as results are produced then it’s fine, right?

This is why I describe my health as he(ll)th. It takes away so much physical time to just be and to feel, along with providing opportunistic sympathy which plays back as false. It’s enough to make me want to survive from home, mixed with a desire to do things a normal 22 year old would do (whatever that is).

But in spite of everything, I’m thankful for it all. I’m glad that my body signals to me when it needs me to slow down, but also when it allows me to work it to its limits in physical activity. I’m thankful for the asthma that reminds me to take time out to breathe. I’m also thankful that my body makes it immediately apparent when I need to rest, as without that I would, like many people, work myself into the ground! I’m grateful for the scars that remind me of a darker past, as they remind me of how much greater the present is.

It’s taken several years, but I never felt so thankful for the body I’m in. Yet at the same time, my health is still just that. It’s hell.

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