Can your birthday really be happy?
19 years ago today, you gave me my first sick day. You popped up with rash, with fatigue, with swelling. I didn’t even know it was you at first. You’re good at disguises. I thought you were someone else, someone acutely frightening but no less scary in reality than you.
Over the last 19 years, you have made me miss numerous things from most of elementary school due to having to be homeschooled to stopping grad school early to my niece’s blessing… though to be fair, I’m not sure if that was you or Phoebe Fibro. I’m pretty sure you invited her though and you’re responsible for your house guests.
You have caused me immense pain that I can’t even explain. You’ve attacked my eyes, my lungs, my heart. You’ve forced me to buy a cane and to have more ace bandages than a middle school nurse’s office. I don’t wear shoes that support my feet well often, because you swell up and make it impossible. I fall asleep at random times. I have gained weight because of being on steroids for two years and not really being able to work out because, again, of you. I’ve gone severely depressed and contemplated suicide from a very young age because I knew the things you would do, you could do to my body. You have forced me to stop eating due to tummy pains, to limit what food I can eat, and to altogether literally get sick all over like you did Monday. You make me writhe in pain, not be able to sleep, and wish that I was anyone else but me.
But you know what Arthur?
Despite all the things you have done to me, I graduated high school with honors and with an international baccalaureate degree. I started college as a sophomore and there I met the love of my life. I went from being afraid to go and be a part of the world to late night visits to diners with friends, hiking, and going on vacations hundreds and thousands of miles away. I have learned to live in spite of you, to prove a point to you that you seem too daft to get – you are Arthur. You are a part of my body, but you are NOT a part of me. You will NEVER be. I refuse to let you limit me more than you clearly have the power to. I will not live my life focusing on the things you are capable of, because life is both too short and too long to live like that. I refuse to do that, to put my future husband or my sister or my niece through that. I will take care of myself, but I will not allow you to run my life.
So happy birthday you bastard.
PS: If I had a dick, this is where I’d tell you to suck it.