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.
- I’m NOT sorry for having Ankylosing Spondylitis
- I’m NOT sorry for becoming a better person because of AS
- I’m NOT sorry that I may need, and will, appreciate the love and support of family and friends
- I’m NOT sorry for pushing myself daily to see just how much farther I can go
- I’m NOT sorry that I will smile through whatever pain and obstacles challenge me
- I’m NOT sorry I will not take ‘no’ or ‘you can’t’ for an answer
- I’m NOT sorry that I will support and show compassion to others who face chronic illnesses
- I’m NOT sorry for approaching each day with fresh eyes of hope
- I’m NOT sorry for being aggressive in continuing to help spread AS awareness
- 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.