Creative Writing on Chronic Illness

I’m tired, son.

A raw piece that I have been working on for months about the challenges of trying to be an active parent with a disabled body. Work in progress.

I’m tired, son.

I’m tired of all the pain and not giving you all of myself.
When something negative preoccupies my mind instead of finding my centre – on those dark brown eyes, the high rounded cheeks that could almost burst with every belly laugh. The toothy grin that bites down on your bottom lip whenever your eyes search for the words that you are feeling.

When the fatigue makes me close my eyes and lose precious moments watching you play. Watching you grow. Watching you become something far better than I.
I’m tired of carrying myself like a desiccated willow when I should be your oak. Your inspiration. Your immovable rather than immobile object.

I’m weary of being in a ‘panic box’ when the pain is too much, and all options are exhausted.
I’m sorry that some days I think about the number of tablets I have left in my arsenal more than if you’ve had your recommended dose of smiles. Of course, you have, you smile for the both of us, but I wish I could prescribe more.

I’m sorry I cannot be there for you when I’m stuck in bed. Or take you to the playground whenever you ask.
Those days when we have to make fun with blankets, bedding for toys, as I lie on the floor with tears in my eyes. Preserving my batteries and minimising my output – calculating hours left in the day. Yet, still desperately trying to be a dad.

I’m sorry. I’m just tired, son. Maybe tomorrow, hey?


  1. These things can be said by most parents of kids of people with chronic illness. Your statement is both haunting and wonderful. thank you Joel !!

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