I first felt #covid_19 symptoms on March 10 & as I write this on the final day of 2020, I can say that I’m 70%* recovered. I’ve had a 9+ month battle for survival - managing organ damage at home with no viable medical care or support (the name of the game for #firstwave patients & for #longcovid sufferers especially, playing guinea pig with no doctors knowing how to help or treat us), - & have endured more pain, trauma, & loss than I can say.
I tried to pick captures of my fight that would show the physical symptoms (& the abuse endured for advocating), & I did so with the intent to say that *what was physically observable was 5% of the fight*. The rest? All buried below the surface in the confines of my cells, organs & psyche, making it even more pressing to educate others. To stand virtual arm-in-arm with every #chronicillnesswarrior that has faced this reality for decades, without medical, societal, or personal support. To be part of something bigger than me.
I lost almost everything in 2020 & have tirelessly advocated while sick in an effort to save others from similar (or worse), & through that I have also gained presence & my truest self.
I have gained an awareness that I will spread until my dying day. I have gained friendships & connections that many never find in a lifetime, sharing in that profound ‘oneness’ of love that our soul constantly strives towards. I have gained a respect for myself & my body that one can only accomplish through observing the will-to-live that they exude in their most challenging of days.
& I have gained an appreciation for the loss that I have experienced, & not through some toxic positivity belief, but through feeling & facing the pain & trauma head-on, recognizing its power & proclaiming “I see how big you are, but my light is bigger than your darkness”.
What I carry into 2021 with me is ME, & a me that I’m proud of. & that is more than enough.
*Edit on 12/31/2021: I thought I was 70% recovered. I was not. I had a stroke in January 2021 and went downhill from there.