I Am Not The Sickness

I Am Not The Sickness. Biyitolu.com.ng

I was born with the sickness. So I was told. My fate decided without my having a say in it. I grew into the realization that I carried a sickness. One that would cause me to be treated differently for the rest of my life. I have bore this sickness in my body from the very beginning of my life. Not like being born without it would have made things better in any way. No. That would have made little to no difference at all. It is all still the same burden. Even for those whose bodies the sickness finds its way later in their life. It feels like they were born with it. So, it doesn’t matter if I was born with it or not. All that matters now is. The sickness is in my blood. And to a lot of people, I am “that thing’ with the sickness.

Let’s not even talk about probability here. It is a fact that my life would certainly be better without this sickness. Way better. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it. But not everybody acts like they know that unlike them, I was just unlucky.  Many treat me like this sickness in my body must be just punishment for something I had done wrong.  They make it seem like a curse that I deserved to be suffering from.  I see it in their eyes. The judgment when they stare in my direction. I hear it in their whispers. My ears pick the fear in the hushed exchanges. I read it in their thoughts. Their faces give off concern and empathy but in their thoughts, I read something completely different. I read it like I am staring into the pages of a book. It is that evident.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am not asking for a pity-party. I have learnt to live with the judgment. The prejudice. The completely bogus notions of people like myself. The stigma. I have learnt to live with it all. It is not easy. It has never been and I have come to accept it might never be. Not because I want to be a pessimist. No. It is simply because my present reality leaves no room for hope. My best shot at unconditional acceptance is keeping this sickness in my body a secret. As long as they have no clue my blood is “tainted” with the sickness, they give me a chance. The moment they find out I am one of the carriers of the sickness, they totally shut me out. They begin to avoid me like I am a scourge. I have learnt to live with it all.

Honestly, I would trade anything to live free from this sickness. To feel what it would be like to live free of the sickness.  Even if it would last only a day, I would gladly take it. I would give anything to wake up without this burden on my back. To know there would be no condescending looks for a whole day. To be certain I would not have to deal with a patronizing attitude. Not even once from the moment I wake up till I return to bed.  Not to be bothered about keeping my secret safe for a twenty-four hour period. And to not have to figure out if people genuinely care. Or if they only pretend to care because they need to abide by some moral or religious codes. I just want for people stop treating me like I am the sickness.

My name is…does it matter now what my name is? Now you know I carry the sickness in my body. This is the truth. My truth. There is no use fighting it. Better to deal with it than deny it. I have come to embrace it. But. No. That I carry the sickness does not mean that is who I am. Don’t treat me like I am. I am not the sickness. No. I am not.

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