Disease – what a calamitous experience for humans. Having to deal with traffic is evil enough, but an illness? That crosses the line of all things considered decent and acceptable by any human standards (unless of course you’re a member of ISIS). And as I sit here, slowly trying to accept the fact that I have been living for years with this illness unbeknownst to me (though looking back, there may have been signs); I further add insult to injury by rummaging through my dimly lit brain trying to understand what I could have done differently to avoid the now inevitable.
Individuals diagnosed with a disease, such as type 2 diabetes, often experience feelings of guilt and shame (diabetes is not my disease; I’ll address that later), due to the thousands, if not millions of tiny, seemingly, uneventful decisions that led to the label they now hold. A label that has the potential to forever change the way they interact and experience the world around them. However, it doesn’t just affect them, but also their friends and family. See, a disease doesn’t wreak havoc on merely the courier of the illness. It has the ability to deeply affect the lives of all those around it. The emotional impact is not limited to just the agent – friends and family members also experience feelings of grief, denial, bargaining, anger, sadness, depression and shame. In short, everybody suffers, just to differing degrees.
dis·ease, noun, /dəˈzēz/
a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.
There is no real template for how one should announce to the world their illness; and, some would argue that one should not declare it from the blogtain tops, but here it goes:
“I have Single.”
With that, a flood of thoughts and ideas about what to write next come rushing in, threatening to break the dam and spill over the levies of my mind. I’ll try my best to succinctly organize my thoughts into proper sentences. Let’s begin with a thorough definition of what Single Disease is and what are its symptoms.
Single is an Autodating System Disease (ASD) which causes abnormally low activity of the dating system in proportion to one’s own culture or expectations. The medical research industry is still undecided as to what may cause Single, but some researchers have observed that it affects individuals with unusually high levels of standards, patience, independence, autonomy, self-contentment, and the ability to live without coupling being their overarching purpose for existing.
If detected, side effects can include: loneliness; embarrassment; shame; uncomfortable levels of repeat inquiries into one’s dating status or prospects, by the same family members, friends, coworkers, strangers, neighbors, and social media statuses, etc.; nausea at the thought of being invited to attend or participate in a wedding; nausea at the thought of going out with a group of non-Single Disease friends; nausea at the thought of being around family; nausea at the thought of being around friends; nausea at the thought of having Single; nausea at the thought of being nauseous; people being more concerned about you having Single than you are of having Single; people wondering if you like sex; people wondering if you like women; people wondering if you like men; people wondering if you like both; people wondering if you like neither.
Yes, the side effects are plentiful, and that wasn’t even a comprehensive list. As a matter of fact, that doesn’t really begin to scratch the surface. However, what I have learned while living with Single is that the vast majority of the side effects are positive and even the negative ones are largely self-inflicted, minus the preoccupation others have with your illness (but they mean no harm).
Sure, it would be wonderful to live in a world where Single no longer exists, but the freedom and autonomy that come from having Single is incredible – I have experienced and found some amazing benefits while living with it. Character development, friendship development, career development, traveling, fewer responsibilities and commitments, patience, fewer influences while determining the next steps in life and understanding your purpose for being here, financial freedom, and preparing to be the best Single-Disease-free-person when that glorious day comes, should a cure be found.
Hopefully, everyone reading this who finds themselves living with Single Disease will be encouraged knowing that you are not suffering alone. At some point in their lives, billions of individuals worldwide, have suffered in silence because of Single. You are not alone and remember that most the side effects of Single are largely avoidable. Begin to enjoy taking full advantage of the time that you have today, regardless of your current stage of treatment, or of your current status – whether you have been living for years with Single or just received a text message notifying you that you are now Single (horrible way to find out). Keep ahold of hope and hang on to that gym membership.