For some time I have considered writing a thank you letter to POTS. Maybe it’s the southern gal in me that knows you always send a thank you note no matter what you thought of the event (bless their heart). Or maybe I am learning to be thankful in all seasons. Who knows?
First of all, I must express my deep disdain for you. I have watched you destroy the quality of life for so many. I speak daily to those who truly believe all hope is lost, that you have won, and they are slowly dying inside. I have also met others who have had their lives turned upside down by your constant antics and inconsistencies, and yet they still stand and fight so bravely against something that is obviously known to wreak havoc daily. So many share their stories of pre-POTS. Life was normal for them. Some were young girls going into their teen years. Others were in college and had to drop out. Others are mothers and wives like myself. Some were deep into amazing careers and BAM! You came along. They are bed bound, using a wheelchair, feeling as though this must be a bad dream…and yet it is not.
Having said all of that, I want to personally address you in my life. Before you came along I lived a normal healthy life. I was an active mother and wife. I loved working out. I loved singing. I loved taking my daughter shopping, eating, and getting mani/pedis. I loved taking my son on dates where he would eat an enormous amount of food and would still have room in his tummy to stop and get ice cream and play putt putt. I loved having Girl’s Day Out shopping with my mom and laughing until it hurt. I enjoyed being able to go to the beach and sit with my dad talking while watching the kids play in the surf without a care in the world. I enjoyed dates with my husband and many activities that we have had to put on hold for now. My life was pretty amazing. But, I am not sure I truly knew how amazing until now. So thank you! Thank you for helping me see what is important in life. Thank you for helping me see the amazing life I have already led before you came along. Thank you for helping us prioritize what is truly important and let go of the things that so quickly distract us from the present.
I also must thank you for pushing me so far outside of my comfort zone. I am pretty sure I was free falling for a moment. I have always been a very private person, and you have made me realize, sharing one’s heart and life with others is one of the greatest gifts someone can give. It’s giving what has so graciously been given to us by God. It is not meant to be hoarded, but rather shared with others who are suffering and struggling. I am no longer the same person I was before you came along, and I have to say, I kinda like the revised version of myself. She allows herself to feel deeper, to be vulnerable, and to love freely. In fact, it’s one of the biggest blessings I have received.
I cannot possibly write a thank you letter without acknowledging how my worldview has changed. I see people differently. I see hearts instead of faces. I have become keenly aware that God has placed within each individual something so beautiful and unique to them. We are not robots. We are uniquely and divinely created and each broken heart matters. Each struggling individual is so very special. So thank you for helping me see others how God sees them and not as the world does. The world sees broken bodies and crushed spirits, but God sees the heart of each soul.
And finally I must say thank you POTS…without you, I am not sure I would have the faith I do today. I have never experienced the dark nights of my soul in quite the way I have since you have come along. I haven’t had to fight on a daily basis to keep my head above water and not drown in the sea of exhaustion until encountering you. I now wake up each morning knowing I am sick, but also knowing I serve a God that will walk with me every step of the way. I believe that to be the greatest blessing of all, knowing I am never alone. He stands with me and carries me when I have nothing left to give.
I have heard it said, “Don’t let your disease define you.” And in many ways, I find that to be impossible. POTS is a part of me whether I like it or not. It does not define who I am, but it certainly has been a strong influence on finding pieces of myself I never knew existed. I never knew the strength that was within me, until I had to use it. God places within each of us the unique set of gifts and resources needed to fight each day no matter the circumstance. So, as I sit here thanking you, I am realizing you are merely the circumstance that has brought me to this place. But it is God that provided me with the ability to fight daily. He is the one that changes the human heart. He is the reason I can say with confidence…this is not the end. So, maybe it would make more sense to say, “bless your heart POTS, you may win many battles but you will never win this war.” For the war is already won. You were merely the catalyst, but you will never receive credit for what truly has changed my life…and that is Jesus Christ.
Sincerely (Bless your heart),