Wednesday, February 8, 2023

I’m Not Sorry

When a person lives with Ankylosing Spondylitis or other chronic illnesses, we find ourselves holding on to hope, facing despair, and constant challenges. We embrace the hurdles. First, because we have no choice knowing we can never give up. Second, and no less important, because we are willing to carry the pain in hope that our loved ones will never have to endure the same obstacle. I find myself apologizing to others often. I’m sorry is uttered to my children when they want to go for a walk, because that day my hips are limiting my abilities. I repeat those two words when friends want to go for lunch, the school needs volunteers, or family wants to travel. This could be due to my medication or just pure exhaustion. My pain tries its best to slow me down. I  respond with an apology in hope that an understanding ear is on the other end of the conversation.

Many of you know I love making lists. I’m not sure if it’s because writing it down confirms my feelings, or if it’s just an obsessive compulsive habit. Either way, in the end, they always seem to help. Below are things I refuse to ever be sorry for when it comes to my AS. Please remember, it may be in our nature to apologize for things that may limit us, but we should NEVER feel we must say sorry. We did not choose to have our illness, but we sure can face it head on.

  1. I’m NOT sorry for having Ankylosing Spondylitis
  2. I’m NOT sorry for becoming a better person because of AS
  3. I’m NOT sorry that I may need, and will, appreciate the love and support of family and friends
  4. I’m NOT sorry for pushing myself daily to see just how much farther I can go
  5. I’m NOT sorry that I will smile through whatever pain and obstacles challenge me
  6. I’m NOT sorry I will not take ‘no’ or ‘you can’t’ for an answer
  7. I’m NOT sorry that I will support and show compassion to others who face chronic illnesses
  8. I’m NOT sorry for approaching each day with fresh eyes of hope
  9. I’m NOT sorry for being aggressive in continuing to help spread AS awareness
  10. I will NEVER be sorry for being me

This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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  1. Jamee

    This is an amazing article. I finished it with tears in my eyes and a determination to NOT be sorry for being me, even if that involves being me with multiple illnesses! Thank you for sharing!

    • Amanda

      Jamee – Thank you so much for your kind words! I also have multiple illnesses so I relate. I’m so happy to hear you have the determination to not be sorry! You’re courage is amazing and inspiring! Wishing you a pain-free day!

      • Amber

        Thank you. 🙂
        While I don’t have AS, my husband does. I watch his daily struggles with pain and wonder how he does it everyday. People stare at him because there are days when his pain doesn’t allow him to walk with a “normal” gait. It pisses me off that people do that. He was diagnosed during our first year of marriage (we have been married for 11 years) and his pain and stiffness has only become worse. I know when we first wake up in the morning if he is going to have a bad pain day; it is those days that I help him get dressed because his hips won’t let him bend at the waist. Yet, i don’t care to do it because he would do it for me if the roles were reversed.
        On his worst days, he still has a smile on his face because he says he has a good life with love and support. I think he would agree with your sentiments of not being sorry. He can’t help the fact he has AS. He doesn’t expect special treatment; he just expects people to be decent and respectful.

        • Amanda

          Amber-You are an amazing woman! Your husband is blessed to have you. I am lucky to have a wonderful, supportive husband & I know there are days that without his support I could question how much farther I could push myself. Thank you from so many of us with AS.

  2. Susan Dye

    Amanda –
    This is wonderful. You are amazing.

    • Amanda

      Thank you so much Susan! Your support means the world to me!!

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