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It whispers ever so softly, attempting to lull you with it’s gentle tone. It beckons you to quit, to give up and retreat. It makes a compelling argument. After all, the daily struggle is difficult. The mental challenge of forcing yourself to find joy in the face of constant discomfort, in vast uncertainty, drains you to your core. The mask you wear is heavy. The facade you live behind is an exhausting pretense to maintain. There is constant concern the cracks you know are there will begin to show.

You do your best to tune out the siren that calls to you. You fill up your mind with white noise and the business of daily chores. You push and strive and usually you are successful. You don’t respond to that little voice so persistent in its draw. You labor in your efforts to ignore it and want so much to silence it but for all your toiling, the din of it remains, constantly reminding you how easy it would be to give up and abandon your struggle for normalcy.

Letting go, bailing out and cutting your losses seems like such a good option when you feel the depth of your burden, the weight of life in a chronically challenged body. It would be so easy to just stop, to surrender. In weak moments this little voice almost sounds like a lovely song, a lullaby. These are the most difficult moments of life with a disability. These are the moments when you realize at the center of your soul, that you are different and despite all your efforts to maintain life as you once knew it, are a futile attempt to feel okay. In these dark times, you know with profound clarity that you are not okay.

These moments are incredibly painful. These times that hollow you out, are cruel but they are also important because they provide you with a choice. Each time this voice beckons, you have to decide whether to quit or to fight. Without this voice, quitting would seem the only logical choice. But the voice, it gives you something to battle against and strangely, while you hate the voice, you also realize that you need it because it is a measure of your strength and it feeds your will to survive.