A poem about tackling simple tasks with a chronic illness.

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Mountain before me
Slopes beg to be climbed
Just take a few steps
Crawl out of your mind

White capped and daunting
The peak feels too far
Trudging in darkness
Reaching for a star

Old burdens weigh down
Depression and fret
Boots sticking to earth
Demanding their debt

Peering up in awe
The crest can’t be reached
How others conquered
Those secrets unbreached

Move one step forward
Its height grows in size
Shooting up skyward
Astonishing eyes

Climbing is vital
Society claims
Norms must be followed
Protecting good names

But others don’t know
Those not in the fight
How high is the peak
How dark is the night

They see no mountain
No hurdle to clear
Doing it daily
With no pain or fear

So I must prevail
Conquer this tower
Gather all my strength
Go take that shower

December 21, 2019

by Scott Ninneman

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Watch this poem in video format.

Living with a chronic illness is like living on another planet. Simple acts that most people take for granted become insurmountable tasks. Neglecting bathing and cooking is often necessary. Fatigue can be so severe that even sitting up in bed is impossible.

When physical strength doesn’t fail you, your mind often does. Brain fog and voices mask what you know. It’s common to struggle to do everyday tasks such as tying your shoes or unlocking a door. I also have bipolar disorder, which adds a lot more chaos to the mix.

The worst days pass in time. There will be days when you can appear to be a functioning member of society. There might even be times you can keep up with everyone else.

No matter the day, whether it is good or bad, the first mountain is the same. Climb in that shower.

If nothing else, that act can be your win for today.

Until next time, keep fighting.

Mountain is a poem about the enormity of tackling simple tasks when you have a chronic illness.
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Read Next: The Isolation You Experience When You Have a Mental Illness

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