In my personal opinion, those with chronic illness are used to life fighting against them. It is the essence of an autoimmune disease. The cells that make up the human body go rogue and decide the body they are supposed to support is the enemy. In addition to the human body fighting against them, life as a young adult is traditionally very different for those with chronic illness when compared to their peers.
For me, it is a constant battle to participate in normal activities. Narcolepsy makes it a challenge to stay awake during sorority meetings or class lectures. I plan my course schedule around what acquaintances are in class with me in case I need them to explain or handle a medical episode. I exercise, not to maintain a sexy bod, but to prevent my arthritis from making it impossible to dress myself. Calculating the amount of driving and energy an activity will take before agreeing is part of my every day stress. Determining and organizing my medication routine with what requires fasting and what requires food. Refilling prescriptions, filling pill boxes, squeezing in PT, OT, and therapy into my daily routine. My favorite is coordinating doctors appointments around who can drive me the 8 hours to Mayo Clinic.
My point is under normal circumstances life is hard with an autoimmune disease, but we adapt. Most of the time it is something we unconsciously consider. It builds and weighs on us and we get cracks in our armor but carry on because we have no other choice. COVID however has changed that narrative. This outside force feels like it’s trying to destroy me and it seems impossible to feel in control. My remission of a year and a half disappeared. Emotionally, physically, and mentally this is one of the hardest experiences our generation has faced. So how do we push through when there seems to be no end in sight? We simply GET UP every day, no matter how hard it is and do everything in our control to push through this shit. We are kind to ourselves and others. Most importantly we hold onto hope.