An intermission in my travels gave my body chance to mend but my mind time to wander. I am grateful and aware of my good fortune in life, however, for all my blessings I was afforded some demons. In my mid-twenties I was diagnosed with what the doctors referred to as a type of ‘chronic degenerative condition.’ Even if there is no cure, it was a relief to finally have a name to blame for my discomfort after countless doctor visits left me feeling like a hypochondriac since adolescence. I have tried to shake a misplaced sense of shame when the term ‘preexisting condition’ is thrown around with such abandon. Like an apple, shiny on the outside but rotting within, I sometimes worry I am deceiving any poor soul who might take a bite. The weight of my potential prognosis was crushing at first but in time I have learned to carry my burden. Beyond selfish catharsis, I hope through sharing this struggle I can lend my strength to others. It is a terrifying subject to broach; we all have our crosses to bear but no one should have to carry theirs alone.