No One Believed Me

I have been where most of you are. I have felt alone, unloved, and unattractive. I have wanted to push everyone away at times because I felt like no one loved me enough. ButI was wrong to even think these things. I was crazy. It wasn’t that I felt fat, although I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel chubby at times. It wasn’t that my face was hard to look at, although sometimes I wanted to run from my terrible acne. It was that I was sick and no one believed me. 

 There are illnesses that are not understood and are unrecognizable to the eye. Although it may not affect your outward appearance, it could certainly destroy you inside. For me, this was unquestionably true. Unfortunately for over seven years I suffered from a lingering pain that resinated undetectably in my stomach, leaving everyone outside of my family believing I was crazy. For years I was in and out of hospitals, went through immense amounts of testing, and saw every specialist imaginable. No one could find a diagnosis. Everyone would tell me I was “just fine” and that “it couldn’t be that bad,” but I was in terrible pain. With everyone telling me that it was just in my head, I almost believed them. Until the pain came back and I realized that there was no way to truly explain my illness to someone who hasn’t been ill. I just wanted to scream out for help, but it was impossible to do as I was the only one who could see my symptoms. The only one who could feel the unbearable misery it brought me. 

Fast forward a few years later and here I am in college - an unfamiliar place with unrecognizable faces. The continuous pain I felt was even harder for me than years prior, as I was also without my family. I felt alone. At this point I knew no one would believe that I was sick, despite my consistent visits to doctors’ offices and the occasional trips to the emergency room in college. No one would believe me. It killed me inside and I felt like no one cared. It was as if they were telling me what I had been hearing for the past several years... “you’re fine.” I finally came to a point midway through freshman year where I had to accept the pain and discomfort. I had to understand that even though my new group of friends did not believe me, they also did not understand what I had been going through for all those years. And that was okay. They did not have to believe me, but they stayed by my side regardless. I had to trust in myself that what I felt was real. It was so real that it left me crippled over at times. It took me seven years to stop caring about what others thought and finally believe in myself. 

Even though I do not see my situation as a blessing in disguise, I believe that it has changed the way I look at life. I refuse to judge anyone by what I see on the outside, as you just never know what their internal struggle may be. So, to the one suffering with an undiagnosed illness, I know you are not crazy even if no one believes you. You need to remember to believe in yourself. For me this illness is part of me and it always will be, but despite the pain I keep going. I keep believing in myself. To anyone who may feel alone at times, know that there is always someone who can relate to you. These people, like me, are thinking about you and are going through exactly what you are. They are out there and you need to know that. You are not alone and I finally realized that I am not either.