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Sarcoidosis has a way of making you feel like you are being eaten alive from the inside out, organ by organ, muscle by muscle, nerve by nerve and bone by bone.

The longer the disease makes a home for itself inside your body, the more you feel your physical self disappear. It’s as if you are slowly being snuffed out, while your confused and confounded immune system attempts to kill you.

Is this a dramatic depiction of sarcoidosis? Perhaps. But is this also the way it sometimes feels? Certainly.

You make a daily conscious effort to be more than your chronic condition but this is a quiet challenge you face because no one knows your pain. It hardly seems necessary to burden others with it, so you wear a smile instead of a grimace.

Yet it is this very pain, often nebulous and hard to describe anyway, that unhurriedly and methodically reduces your will. Sometimes you don’t even notice it taking hold and like the dusk, darkness quietly settles in all around you.

And as the darkness descends, you have a vague but nagging feeling you are being swallowed up by your disease. No matter what you do to fight it, the disease finds a way to sabotage your life.

But you can’t let it. You can’t let it get to your soul, the heart of who you are. You can’t let darkness descend there. You must fortify all your emotional reserve so that no matter what awaits you, no matter how hard this disease tries to eat you alive, you can sustain the attack.

This disease may sometimes feel like it is swallowing you whole, but you can fight back by staying positive. You can fight back by recognizing your inner strength. You must surround yourself with gratitude and recognize what you have instead of what you’ve lost.

There is nothing easy about living with a chronic condition but in it’s proper perspective, there is nothing easy about a lot of things in life and every person has their own hardships to face.

So even when this disease attempts to swallow you up, fight back. Be fearless in your heart to love and the world around you will be strengthened for it. You will be freed from your disease in a way it cannot reach you.