When you have an undiagnosable, chronic illness
You’re just a ghost…
You float through the days,
haunted by the world that has left you behind.
There may never be a name for my illness.
I may, in fact, be rare.
Still, I’m a ghost.
A ghost of who I used to be.
An invisible disaster.
A Ghost Story:
It was a dark and stormy night, of course.
The kind of storm that lets you know how small you really are in this world.
The only break from the night would come as mere flashes,
which would cascade from the sky, with every roaring thunder.
Your heart would skip a beat, with every breaking sound.
BOOM! CLAP! BOOM!
You take a deep breath, it’s just a storm. Nothing to worry about.
Everyone in the house has long been asleep.
Why tonight, of all nights, are you the only one still awake?
Left alone with only your thoughts and the sounds of the rain.
It’s getting fainter now, perhaps the storm is going to pass, you think.
At least you hope so anyway.
You peek outside, at least the moon is starting to come out.
Maybe there will be some light to this night, after all.
Still, you feel uneasy.
Something is terribly wrong, but you can’t put your finger on it.
The hair starts to stand up on the back of your neck,
and for a moment, you think you hear something.
You’re quiet for a moment,waiting to hear it again.
But all you hear is the sounds of your own breath.
Your mind is just playing tricks on you again.
It’s just in your head. Get a hold of yourself.
But you can’t shake these feelings, no matter how hard you try.
Just then, a door closes from what sounds like the other room.
What was that? Is someone awake?
You decide to investigate. You must be crazy, anyway.
This can’t be happening for real, can it?
But it’s like you’re driven to know….
That you’re not hearing things
Or that everything isn’t just inside your head.
Hello? Anybody there?
The hall is dark and chillingly cold.
Now you can’t help but feel really, really alone.
You open up the first door.
A few more steps to the next room.
Nothing there either.
Wait, a minute. Where did everybody go?
They were here not too long ago.
Why did they leave without saying goodbye?
You start to panic…
You walk up to last door, praying that you can find them in there.
You place your ear to the door, holding your breath, hoping…
You start to slowly turn the handle. Nice and easy, you say.
You can hear the door creak as the old wood rumbles against the floor.
Out of the corner of your eye, you see it.
It’s a little fuzzy at first,
But the light begins to get a little brighter.
Your legs start trembling, you can’t help it.
She’s facing away from you now, staring out the window into the night.
Hello? Who are you? Hello?!?!?
You’re braver than you give yourself credit for sometimes.
She doesn’t utter any words, but you can hear her crying.
She turns her head slightly to the side, her reflection is now more visible than before.
You watch the tears roll down her face.
She looks shockingly familiar, though.
What’s wrong? How did you get in here? Where is everyone?
You are starting to get irritated.
Why won’t she answer you?
She finally turns around and comes face to face.
It’s you, but it’s not you.
How could this be?
What is happening to me?
Shhh! She says.
She runs her cold, clammy hands across your cheek.
You say you don’t understand.
I am the ghost of the girl you once were, she says.
The girl who once dreamed the most amazing dreams.
And knew she could do anything she put her mind to.
It still doesn’t make sense. What is she talking about?
She guides you to the window, again, you look outside.
She asks if you remember a night not too long ago,
when you were up all night, wanting it all to end.
You remember, alright.
It’s not that easy to forget that kind of pain.
So tired of feeling so lost, alone, and invisible.
I don’t know how to say this, she says.
That night was a full moon.
A blood moon at that.
So… what does that mean?
You said you were tired of fighting so hard,
and that you wanted it all to end.
And now we are just ghosts.
Still invisible, continually haunted.
That’s not what you wanted, you cry out.
You just wanted to feel better.
To have a break from the pain, from the sickness.
Just for a moment.
One moment of peace, you said.
How can this be happening?
You didn’t choose to be sick in the first place.
It’ not fair!
Like being invisible wasn’t hard enough.
Now you’re invisible and a ghost.
And nobody believes in ghosts.
It’s alright, she says, calm down.
Being a ghost is going to be hard, but it’s not the end.
You’ll just have to fight even harder than you ever have before.
To find a way to have your voice heard.
To not be forgetten in this world.
Remember, you are stronger than you give yourself credit for.
There will always be the ones who doubt you, she says.
That don’t believe in you.
Go ahead and let them not believe.
For you will learn quickly to haunt all the walls of this world.
Proving everyone wrong. And teaching them that
just because you can’t see it,
doesn’t mean that it’s not real.
You ask her if she’ll be coming with you on these adventures.
Sorry, no, she’s afraid not.
She’s just a memory now, anyways.
Not to remind us of what has been lost along the way,
but to help us to remember that life can be worth living for.
Worth working for.
To keep up the fight and keep going.
A reason to go bump in the night.