The title read:Why I still Want to Looking Beautiful, Even Though I'm Dying.
...Wait a minute, what!?
Dying?! What did they mean dying?! I know I am severely ill, fatally ill in fact, but "dying"? I mean, if we are being honest aren't we all technically dying? It's just common courtesy not to announce it right? From the second we are born our timer has begun towards our imminent deaths. Death is the one thing humans have yet to find a means of escape from. It awaits each of us at an unknown place and time. I do not classify myself as "dying" anymore than you would classify yourself as "dying." Now don't get me wrong, my death is in the carpool lane, while your death is stuck in rush hour traffic, but still, I wouldn't call myself dying. Yes, I have a terminal illness (Progressive Systemic Sclerosis) that will take my life long before I want to leave this earth. One that leaves me strapped to constant hospital stays, appointments, procedures, and treatments. One that leaves me in pain more often than not. One that forces me to tote an oxygen tank, a feeding tube, and a central line for survival. While yes, I reside in a body that is slowly failing, leaving my with a reduced time to live -- dying is still not the word I would use to describe myself.
There are plenty of mental scars (and a few physical ones too) from that month of "dying" that I encountered. Dying changes you as a person, changes your perception, and leaves a deep wound that can never be healed. I attended therapy for severe mental trauma to overcome the reality that I had in fact almost lost my life. It had placed me in a dark bottomless pit that I still now tremble to recall. The memories of Acute Rehabilitation where I relearning how to sit up, walk on my own, use my hands, and get dressed by myself at 23 years old haunts me still. The memories of medical procedures gone wrong (as in: botched spinal taps), and treatments that only hindered (as in: gave me Meningitis) instead of helped filled my dreams for months. Yes, I had in every way, shape, and form been "dying" last December. I remember what dying felt like. I remember the feeling of emptiness it brought to the center of my chest, the way it filled everything with blackness. The fear. I had never before in my life felt like I had lost a battle, but I knew that I had lost this one. There was no fight left in me, my body was too weak to continue, and my mind followed. While I lay paralyzed in that hospital bed, it was as if my ability to fight, to even think about continuing had been paralyzed as well. You can tell when it's the end, as your mind starts to slip, you can feel it closing in... and I was thoroughly surrounded. Somehow, someway I recovered. My body pulled through, and so did my mind... mostly. A piece of me was definitely lost during that admission, something I cannot quite put a finger on. Being that close to death, to actually be dying is unlike anything I have ever experienced, so dying is not an adjective I take lightly.
I feel fortunate to live while my body slowly deteriorates, to not be bound to death like I was in December even though I am riddled with failing organs, and a fatal prognosis. Someday again I will be "dying," lying in a hospital bed with only days left ahead of me -- and truthfully yes, if you want to define "dying" as losing a battle to illness then I am in every sense of the term dying... but personally I like to call residing in this defective body, riddled by disease: successfully, and enthusiastically living.