Stop this. Right now.
Illness: A disease or period of sickness affecting the body or mind.
Ugly: Unpleasant or repulsive
Broken: Having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece; rejected, defeated or despairing.
Some definitions for you. I want you to pay close attention to the fact that the definitions of ugly or broken do not make direct reference to illness. Nowhere in those definitions does it state that a use of the definition is to be applied to chronic illnesses or those who suffer from them.
I’ve seen so many occasions where the sick describe themselves as ugly because of their illness, or genuinely seem to see themselves as broken because of the condition they are battling. It breaks my heart, because it just isn’t true.
So your illness alters your physical appearance. Mine does it to me too - I have a virtually permanent rash in the vague shape of a butterfly across my face, and sometimes on a bad day you could fit a two-bed semi in my abdomen (well, nearly). Your body alters because it’s fighting. It’s reacting and doing its level best to give battle to whatever it is afflicting you. The fact the changes keep happening mean it hasn’t given up - and that’s something to be proud of. Your body is an amazing biological machine, and will continue to fight a chronic incurable condition for just as long as you are drawing breath. It won’t give up - nor should you.
Ugliness isn’t a rash on your face or body. It’s not a bloated abdomen or massive fluctuations in weight. It’s not swollen and stiff joints, and it most certainly isn’t “illness” itself. Ugliness is inside - it’s part of a person’s inner nature, not their outer shell. Things like arrogance, self obsession, cruelty and spite - they are ugliness. There is no part of any of those things in a chronic illness.
And as for broken? Broken is when you stop, when you give up all together. Broken is letting the illness win. Our states of victory are as different as our conditions are individual - we know in ourselves what constitutes victory. I’m sure others like me have seen their worth reduced or eradicated all together in the eyes of other people - sometimes, sadly, with former friends.
You want to know what broken and ugly are?
Broken and ugly are letting those people be correct.
You are every bit the person you were before the illness, whatever it may be. Everything that made you the brilliant, entirely unique individual you are is still there. Let it shine, and keep your chin up.
Pain isn’t forever, but with a bit of dedication, hope and determination can be.