Chronic Illness – My Hands Are Small I Know

by Melody Jean

Chronic Illness My Hands Are Small I Know Contemporary SeekerWe were never promised fair. No.

We were never promised easy. No.

We were never promised good health. No.

We were never promised happiness. No

We were never promised wealth. No.

We were never promised love. No.

We were never promised help. No.

Yet …

We were born to be fair. Yes.

We were born to overcome. Yes.

We were born to take care of health. Yes.

We were born to find happiness. Yes.

We were born to provide for self and others. Yes.

We were born to love. Yes.

We were born to help. Yes.

Silent Suffering – On the Inside

On the outside to those I know, I’m a hiker, cyclist, over achiever (in some regards), and a work-a-holic.

On the inside I suffer silently with a chronic “hidden” illness that is not readily seen.

In fact, when a friend learned of my condition, she said, “Wow. I just thought you were this petite, bubbly, woman with tons of energy. I had no idea.”

Inside I laughed.

Not because of her unknowing, but because there is no reason that she should know. I never told her, and my disease is inside.

Most aren’t the wiser, since I don’t share with them about what my insides do.

My immune system attacks my body.

Sometimes You Have to Tell

When the “monster,” as I call it, is full-on attacking, as it is now, I have to share with certain people – my family, boyfriend, some close friends, and boss.

You see I am not 100% bubbly, energetic Melody Jean during this time. This is fact.

My Body Rebels

When in a flare-up, my body rebels.

With this, I have little choice but to accept that physically I can’t move as well right now. How long it will last, I do not know. If it will go away entirely, I do not know either.

The Monster Within

The last thing I want to be is not self-sufficient or burdensome to others. So I tend to push myself through it all and don’t rest which prolongs the healing process.

Too, I often find little solace in doctor opinions. They revert to what they know — more tests and medications.

As for those who love me – they often want to help, yet there’s nothing that can be done other than to listen or accompany me to my appointments to figure out what to do this time to quiet the monster inside.

I Don’t Pity Me, My Soul or My Condition

It’s hard to explain how uncomfortable and scary it is when my monster attacks. Yet, I will myself to remember I am not alone.

Even though I feel vulnerable at times, I don’t pity me, my soul, or my condition.

Here and there I’m saddened, yes. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that.

Especially when I can’t participate in gatherings or physical activities with those I care about because I can’t function as well as I normally can physically.

Those Who Don’t Understand – It Hurts, but I Understand

I know there are those who don’t understand the depths of my struggle.

As a result, they believe that my condition is not real, or less troublesome than it really is.

This hurts, yet I understand. Their inability to comprehend, and judgment of me, based upon their lack of knowledge is okay too.

While it hurts, yes, I recognize the hurt helps me to grow and makes me stronger.

I See Life Differently Now

I’m learning to live with what I have, and accept it.

I see everything differently now, life differently now.

I used to dwell on small issues and worry about details, which in the grand scheme, are not important. Through this illness I’ve learned that focusing on minutia is nonessential.

This is one positive element I’ve gained — I’m not afforded the “small worry” luxury anymore.

I also recognize that I’m not invincible. that I need to rest and not push so hard every day as is customarily how I do everything.

I Can’t Predict the Future

You see I can’t predict when it will hit, how severe it will be, or if there will be anything but time to make me feel better.

I’ve been struggling for more than six weeks again now and have tried a host of medications, and will endure more tests and new medications. This is one aspect of the plot of my life. It’s one I’ve come to accept.

Something Greater

Again, it’s as if I’m being told by something greater than me – you’ve done enough. The answer is not yours to see.

Ride the pain train, know that I love you and that I will take care of you, just stop forgetting me when life is “good.”

The Healing Light Despite My Forgetting

You see I forget to pray at times. Yes. Guilty as charged.

However, when in this mode of suffering, I pray. I pray a lot.

I get down on my knees (figuratively) and I open myself up to something greater.

Last night, as I do many nights, I laid in bed and remembered my prayer that I said every night as a child with my sister and parents.

I recalled how vibrantly young, energetic and healthy I was as a child—marveling my innocence and strength. So with that I prayed that prayer verbatim, as if I were a kid.

“Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake; I pray the Lord my soul to take. God bless daddy, mommy, holly, melody, chocolate chip (he was our dog) and all our other relatives and friends. Amen.”

Al Ghazzali, I great Sufi mystic said “Illness itself is one of those forms of experience by which one arrives at the knowledge of God … It is, so to speak, the cord of love by which God draws to Himself the saints.”

I understand what he means and find so much solace in these words. I love God too.

I’ll Never Stop

I’ll never stop searching for answers.

In fact, much of my time the last few weeks has been spent doing research. I want to feel better, I want my over-achieving energy back. I want to live and live big.

My Hands Are Small

I too find comfort in a song by Jewel called Hands. I offer this video, which has the lyrics.

In it, among her many beautiful words she says, If I could tell the world just one thing, it would be that we’re all OK. And not to worry ’cause worry is wasteful and useless in times like these. I won’t be made useless. I won’t be idle with despair. I will gather myself around my faith. For light does the darkness most fear. My hands are small, I know, but they’re not yours, they are my own.”

Millions Like Me

Chronic illness plagues millions throughout the word. Many of these illnesses are inside, unseen, so those inflicted suffer silently. It appears as if they have no issue at all.

Through my own chronic illness I have started to see life in a completely different way.

It’s hard for me to speak to my illness because I don’t want to admit to myself that I’m not 100% all of the time, yet it’s reality and not all in vein. I’ve come to view life differently through illness, my relationship with something higher, hope and faith.

May those who suffer in silence, find hope and strength too.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }


God Bless You.


Melody Jean

thank you Mike!



As you rest and heal, know that you are thought of warmly and wished a quick recovery.


Melody Jean

thank you much alaysia, i appreciate your warm well wishes!


Omar Ghazzali Grant

Thank you Melody! Beautifully shared! The quote by Ghazzali is indeed a wise one. If the cost of wisdom is to ‘increase our needs’ then chronic illness certainly does that! And then, we remember that which we so easily forget…..that the Love of the Creator is as ‘close as our jugular vein’. In our thoughts …Omar and Rabia


Melody Jean

Nicely said — thank you for your note, and for your kind words. Likewise, you both will be in my thoughts!


Rabia Angel

Yes I understand Melody I also have a debilitating illness that haunts me every so often not the Graves’ disease


Melody Jean

Bless you Rabia. Thanks for sharing. We are stronger for what we endure … so the wise ones say, right? We have to believe. Hope and faith are beautiful things.


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