Revolution — from the Latin root “revolutio” meaning “to turn around”
defined by the Merriam-Webster as “a sudden, radical, or complete change” and by dictionary.com as “a sudden, complete, or marked change in something”
For a long time, the Oasis lyric “so I start a revolution from my bed” has been in my Instagram bio and one of the driving quotes in my life. I think for any young adult there is a desperate desire for a turn around–a change. We crave this radical thing called independence that our parents coach us towards and prepare us for but protect us from at the same time.
In the chronic illness community, that independence is an even more radical concept. We want so badly to experience the same changes that everyone else our age does. We want to graduate and go off to school or start our trades. We want to begin making impacts in the areas that we are passionate about. We want to find love whether it be with a partner or a pet or a project. But we also want to change what is happening within our bodies. We want to stop the chronic, debilitating pain that prevents us from doing those other things in “normal” or most efficient ways. We want to see our joints and muscles function in the ways they are meant to. We want to have hearts that beat in proper rhythm at appropriate rates. We want to have eyes that see and ears that hear. We want to have brain waves that send proper signals to nerves that receive them correctly. We want skin that doesn’t feel like it’s burning on the inside or the outside even when it hasn’t seen sunlight for weeks. We want intestines that run smoothly instead of guts that roll like freight trains. We want these parts of ourselves to suddenly, radically, and completely change. At least, I do.
The thing is, I know that there aren’t many things I can do to change what goes on inside my body. I am sick. I have been sick my whole life. I will be sick for the rest of my life. However, I can start a revolution in my life. I just have to do it from my bed for right now because that is where I am. And that is totally okay. My revolution is to change what I can. I can change how I spend my days. I can change who I surround myself with. I can change what I input. So I’m going to. I’m starting to take those steps toward a revolution. I’ve started this passion project of a blog that I’ve wanted for years. I’ve replaced toxic people in my life with positive, loving, and supportive friends who I adore. I am making an effort to filter out the trash things that the world tries to expose me to in favor of things that bring me joy. Y’all should really try it–it’s magical.
My mom and I had a bit of miscommunication when I told her about my idea for this post. When she hears “revolution” her immediate thought is about fighting. At first I explained that the definitions I was using were about turn around; radical and marked change. After thinking about it for a second, though, I got extremely offended at the idea that she didn’t think I fight every single day. Because you best believe that I am constantly revolting against my body just as it is revolting against me.
She then assured me that she knows I fight my body valiantly and that she more so associates revolution with the fighting that leads to world change. I like this perspective on revolution too. I still aspire to change the world. Maybe it won’t be with this blog. Maybe it will be. But definitely some way. Probably within the chronic illness community because it certainly needs some revolution. And while I may not have gotten that project totally off the ground yet, I have to start somewhere. This seems as good a place as any–right here on my laptop and from my bed.