I’m Suze, and this is The Struggle.
The Struggle is a place for me to document my story: to share my life as a woman, a mother, a wife, and a friend, as I grapple with living with chronic illness. Somewhere to share, with openness and honesty, the struggle that doing so entails; a struggle that touches every part of my life. Amidst the joy and love in my life, I carry chronic illness with me – sometimes like a pebble in my shoe, and at other times like a boulder on my back. The Struggle is somewhere for me to share my experiences in learning to live and love and laugh and create, with my unwanted companion; the struggle of striving to do more than just exist alongside it.
At times, living with chronic illness has felt like the loneliest journey I could ever have been forced to take. It’s deeply saddening that I know my experience is not unique, with countless messages from friends, friends of friends, and total strangers, telling me that there are so many other people walking this same path. But, I’ve slowly learned that loneliness is just one of the many cruel illusions that chronic illness creates. That, in reality, I am not alone: And that means that you are not alone, either.
I haven’t created The Struggle to shout my story into the void, but instead to create a place where people with chronic illness can come to feel less alone. A place where false positivity is replaced with a transparent honesty about the ups and downs of life; where motivational mantras are replaced with practical stories of how I have learned to ride those waves. A place where other people can tell their stories about how they have built happy, fulfilling, lives alongside their chronic illness.
My hope is that The Struggle will be somewhere people can come to see that it really is possible to get shit done while feeling like shit. But, where we’re also honest enough to say that it’s OK if somedays all you’ve managed to do is get through the day, to keep breathing. That sometimes, in fact, doing just that is far more than OK: it’s bloody brilliant.
My life is full of goodness and love, but it isn’t easy: Welcome to The Struggle.