The Science of Just Living With It

The title seemed appropriate today, because I’m celebrating a mini victory in my food allergy journey, one that I hope you can all claim – no matter where you are in your journey or what your battles are.

I haven’t been posting much recently, with everything going on. It’s been a crazy few weeks for most of the world. In fact, I’ve probably started four posts for the blog and ditched all of them. It’s just been one weird adjustment period after another. We’ve seen stores close their doors, kids get out of school in the middle of the school year, churches cancel services.

Anyway, I finally did land on a topic for today’s post. 😏

When I think of my food allergies, I usually think of the things they have robbed from me. Friends I could have made; places I could have gone; relationships that could have been deeper. Seldom do I think of what I’ve accomplished in the past twelve years of living with a severe allergy. And yet there is something that I’ve accomplished – and the discovery of that victory left me floored.

In an interaction with someone recently, someone who was struggling with an unexpected allergy attack, I saw them deal with symptoms similar to the minor reactions I experience on a regular basis. They were frustrated, understandably, and discouraged.

And yet in the middle of it, I realized that, somewhere in the past twelve years, I’d won a victory that I’d never celebrated.

It was simple, in some ways . . .

. . . but important.

Crucial, in fact. And I believe many of us today – no matter what kind of physical battle we’re fighting – have already won the very same victory without realizing it.

It’s the art of living with it.

The ability to say no and walk with dignity afterwards. The grace to miss out and still move forward. The empathy to extend to a friend – or to someone you don’t even know.

Some days it’s harder than others. Some defeats will leave you in depths deeper than before. I don’t want to belittle any situation – I cherish the empathy that comes from hardship – but the fact remains that at some point in the journey, you learn how to live with it.

And that is important.

Because learning to live with this battle may give you the ability to handle other battles. Your experiences today may gave you an insight to help somebody else tomorrow.

A few days after that interaction, I had a bad reaction – we didn’t really know to what. As bad as it was, the knowledge of that small victory made it just a little easier to endure.

No matter what battle you’re fighting, I pray you can reach this milestone, if you haven’t already. And if you have, I hope you can take comfort from it as I have. There is purpose in waiting. There is strength in the process. Never underestimate the value of learning to live with it.

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