Home > Blogs > Coping With Ill-Health > A Love Letter For Life

Being ill is horrible. It is hard to be in constant pain and to struggle to get through each day. I don't like being trapped in a body that is unable to manage even basic tasks, and I hate the level of endurance required to manage even little things. But I love life.

I love the magnitude of it and the sheer breath taking glory of it. Sometimes I lay here, thinking of the whole world outside my window. Of all the adventures and love affairs. All the children being born and all the eyes closing for the final time. All the people breathing in and out and all the creatures that make it such a daring, dangerous, magical place.

As I try and sleep, somewhere the whales are singing and the dolphins are leaping through the waves. Monkeys are swinging from tree to tree together and a lion is chasing a gazelle who is running for its life.

There will be people crying and bleeding while others are laughing or feeling so alive with the euphoria of something good that they almost walk on air. The bittersweet contradictions of this planet make it awe-inspiring. The very fact that hope, courage and compassion exist in the face of the imperfect makes me want to weep with joy.

I love the way the grass grows and the sky keeps changing. I love the fall of each leaf and the opening of each new flower. I love the feel of the earth and the light of the moon. I am grateful to hear the voice of someone who matters to me. I am glad to listen to the rain and watch the snowflakes swirl past the glass that separates me from this land.

There have been days when I have longed for the peace of death, even as I clung with every fibre of my being to my life. Even now, I'm not really certain where this ends. Do I get better? Do I get to open my front door and really join this chaotic, gorgeous world again? Is the love I have for every songbird and every crisp autumn morning ever going to be requited? I really don't know.

I can't even begin to tell you what the future might bring me. But I do know that it has all been worth it. I don't regret a single heartbeat. I was lucky to be born, to grow and to bloom a little before my illness cut me right back to my stalk. I am lucky because I know some of the finest, kindest souls time has ever witnessed. And most of all, I think I am lucky because I was given this day. And yesterday. And every other day I still have left.

If you are reading this and you have your health, you must open your wings. Go flying. Look this moment in the eye and do not waste it. If you are reading this and you are unwell, I hope you know that being ill hasn't diminished what you give to those you know. Love doesn't depend on the vitality of our bodies.

You are learning about the treasures most people never even see and your name is written on the sands of this century just as surely as anyone else's. You are not small, you are just different. Your shell may have let you down but have you noticed that it is the pressure that has made you such a diamond?

Sarah-Louise Jordan is a housebound sufferer of ME living in Sussex.