Stronger Together

The power of embracing your vulnerability – Stepping into 2020 with COVID


I can barely type right now. I literally got the energy to type whilst lying 24/7 in this bed for the past 13 Days.

I was taken to hospital for chest pain on Friday evening. I had no COVID symptoms. I am so used to these pains that I tend to ignore my family and friends, but they insisted for me to have it checked, less anyone could predict what I might catch from hospital. I came back from hospital after the usual undiagnosed and clueless answers as to why I am getting these chest pains every morning. On the very third day I started getting symptoms of COVID and believe me I have no idea where the last 13 days have gone. All I know is I slept, slept, and slept and was in excruciating pain and struggled to breathe.

As usual, most worried were my parents who couldn’t travel because of the travel ban India imposed to and from the UK. Being alone makes it more tough because you don’t know what day it is, where and when you slept, let alone ate or drank or took medications. A few friends dropped off food, but you lose the urge to eat altogether.

I got COVID after isolating for almost 10 months since February, despite taking extra precautions. Basically, you can try as hard as you can to avoid a thing but if it is meant to be, it will happen no matter what.

But we can take precautions to avoid this horrid virus. It is unprecedented. I have never felt such pain and fatigue in my entire life maybe because my muscles are too weak to handle this fatigue. It feels like pins and needles all over the body with a severe headache. Being COVID positive with a low immune system doesn’t work very well, I guess.

Our courage to be beautifully imperfect is what makes us unique. Courage, compassion, and connection are the vital ingredients to live a beautiful life with our vulnerability.

Courage – we all have been through phases in our lives where we feel we are imperfect in some way. Maybe we think we are not good looking, we are not super intelligent, we are not as healthy as others or we are not as wealthy as others. Embrace your vulnerability (e.g. a Rare Disease), learn, adapt and live with it happily.

Compassion – we can only be compassionate to others if we are compassionate to ourselves first. To treat others with kindness, we need to first treat ourselves with kindness. We can never pour from an empty bottle. Only if you are happy with yourself, can you make any other person around you happy. It’s important to make people happy but start with yourself first.

Connection – we connect with others because of authenticity. When we are willing to let go of the thought of “who we should be” to fit into the society is the day of the liberation.

Vulnerability – we need to fully embrace vulnerability to let all these three happen. What makes us vulnerable also makes us beautiful. Vulnerability is necessary for a connection. The courage and willingness to live each day when you don’t know whether tomorrow you will be spending a night at hospital or home, the willingness to not give up. -Even after doctors gave up, the thrive, the uncertainty makes you actually live and enjoy life. You don’t know whether you will be able to see the other person again in life or not as life is uncertain for everyone these days.

I am struggling with COVID at the moment, but we can overcome this as we always do.

Happy New year. Hopefully 2021 will be better than 2020.

This campaign isn’t just about us – it’s about you. If you live with, or care for someone with a rare disease, share your experience on social media using the hashtag. Help us be heard.

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