The first time I heard my wife say it, I was crushed. “Nick, you don’t deserve this.” My wife was struggling, and she felt like her symptoms were a burden to me.
The sad thing is, the more research I did, the more times I saw that same sentiment from other people that had Addison’s Disease. It came across my twitter feed. I saw it in Addison’s Disease support groups on Facebook. Chances are that if you have Addison’s Disease, at some point in time you’ve felt like a burden.
Let me be really clear about something.
The thought has never crossed my mind. My wife is not a burden.
Does Addison’s Disease suck? Yes.
That doesn’t mean you are a burden. Your friends and family think you’re amazing. I think you are amazing.
We have a quote board up in our house, and my wife changes the quote every few weeks. The quote that is on the board right now is perfect. “Grow through what you go through.”
Grow Through What You Go Through
Everyone faces adversity in life. When that adversity comes your way, you can handle it one of two ways.
- Feel sorry for yourself, and let that adversity control your life.
- Look at the adversity as a learning opportunity.
What We’ve Learned
Addison’s Disease certainly adds some adversity to our lives. But that’s ok! One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced in the first year of battling this disease is the financial responsibilities we’ve been faced with.
Addison’s Disease requires regular doctor visits, blood work, and prescriptions. All of that stuff costs money. My wife and I are certainly not where we want to be financially, but because of the financial responsibilities we were forced to take on, we’ve learned how to manage our money responsibly. Yes I know, we’re adults and we should have already been financially responsible. But we weren’t. Because of Addison’s Disease, now we are!
Addison’s Disease has also taught us to have more compassion for people. In my professional line of work I manage a group of people, and prior to my wife’s diagnosis, I was not good at showing compassion for my coworkers. Because of what we’ve gone through, I’ve become a better leader at work. Now when one of my coworkers has a challenge they need to talk about, I understand that sometimes they just need someone to listen.
Everyone has a challenge in their life, and ours just happens to be Addison’s Disease. Don’t let the fake world of social media cloud your vision. Remember that people usually only share the good in their lives online and that just because life looks perfect for them, that doesn’t mean it is.
Your family and friends love you, and you are not a burden. If you’re facing a challenge, talk to your loved ones about the challenge, and look for ways to turn that sad feeling into something good. It’s not easy, but that’s ok.
This is a shorter post, but I think it’s so important for you to remember. Having Addison’s Disease does not make you a burden.