Asthma UK community forum

Open Letter

I wrote a letter to my family recently and I have decided to post it here, I have edited it a little to remove some names etc and make it more open.

I am still me.

I still have the same sense of humour, and that wicked sense of fun, I still love life I just get pleasure from different things these days. I still get lots of fun from being with family and friends, but you don’t have to wrap me cotton wool. I am a bit slower and things take a little more planning. I have asthma, asthma does not have me. I may not run the party these days I may not even be the life of it but I can and will be the soul.

I know I have been very ill over the past couple years and I guess I have scared you all. It scared me but it made me realise how precious life is, and how much more I want to do. I am so lucky I have skied on Christmas day, I have SCUBA dived in beautiful Mediterranean waters and I have spent days out just rambling on the moors, I can’t do those things now and the odds are I never will but at least I have done them.

I am not going to be down hearted about the things I can’t do, in honesty there is little that with a bit of planning I can’t achieve. I want to be able to go out shopping with my daughter, I want to take my kids to watch football. I want to visit grandad as often as I can and hopefully he can teach me to become a better bridge player. I want to lunch with my Mum and my aunt, I want to see my children do well at school and I want to be a granny (in many years time). I want to be old enough for my knickers to fall down in the queue and Tesco and not to be embarrassed. These are smaller goals in the grand scheme of things but they are no less the important, in fact they are probably more important, all achievable with some forward planning, taking it steady and looking after myself.

I know my limits (mostly), I may be bad at admitting them to others and I need to learn ask for help more and when things are too much I need to be better at saying enough. I am learning that and you need to be patient with me whilst I learn and re-learn my limits.

And whilst I learn there will be mainly good and happy times there will be odd sad time, the odd time I will mourn for the life I had that is natural you can't take so much without there being the odd time when I miss my old life. But I promise that there will be no regrets and no bitterness it simply is not in me and anyway if I do that if I hide from the world, stop reaching for my goals, stop trying then I will have let this beat me. I was not beaten by my 1st red ski run, I was not beaten by faulty regulator when SCUBA diving and no Tor on Dartmoor has beaten me so I am damned if asthma will.



9 Replies

what a letter! I wouldn say that sums up how a lot of people feel. I have to say for me I need to learn limitations and be satisfied with them.

Thank you Bex

Kath x



Wow! What can I say? That's beautiful! Thankyou for posting it!

You're a real inspiration to us all!



Oh dear I did not mean it to brag or anything. There are times when I want to kick and scream like a little child I am not some well adjusted content with life person, honest! I am always trying to push the boundaries and sometimes I am very guilty of over-doing it pushing too far. I have my down days like everyone else, but I wanted my family to know that I am still the same Bex they know and love.

I also just wanted to show that although asthma is dreadful and really messes up lives, life does not need stop becuase you have it. You just have to move the goal posts a little and maybe re-evaluate what is really important and what is not. And instead of feeling proud cos you conquered everest I feel proud for to doing other smaller things, as my grandfather said today it is all relative.




Thank you for sharing this with us, Bex, I'm sure no-one thinks that you intended to brag!

I had tears in my eyes as I read it, it's a beautiful piece of writing, moving and poetic. Your family are very lucky that you can express your feelings to them so eloquently - so often these things get swept under the carpet and never really said.

I could relate to a lot of what you wrote about how your life has changed; my life has changed dramatically over the last 6 - 12 months as my asthma has changed, and like you I am struggling, but reluctantly beginning to find acceptance. I really admire your attitude of accepting your limitations but not letting it beat you, even if you still have the occasional off day or screaming toddler temper tantrum!

Thank you for reminding me that I am still the same person underneath it all.


Em H


bex, thanks for sharing this with us. these are important things to tell those you love and live with, and also to remind yourself of in the process. i have written similar types of letters myself in the past. They're not always easy to pass on to those you want to have them as it can sometimes be difficult to gauge how they will be taken, but the content is important and needs to be said. One of the things I repeatedly find myself having to say to my dad in particular is that this is how things are. I am the same person but with different parameters of what i can and cannot do than i used to have. i have accepted that (albeit sometimes with a bit of a strop with the asthma). my dad is 1 for saying things like ""you never know what medical research may be being done as we speak. something will come up and your asthma will get better"". You know, the kind of denial thing. i know it's hard for him to see me go through what i do, but i often find myself having to tell him that actually no, there isn't anything in the pipeline at the moment, and i need him to accept that so he can accept me and where things are up to with me and my disease. does that make any sense?



Hello Bex,

thank you for sharing your letter with us.

I can relate to some of it too!

I too look back at the things I did when fitter such as Rock climbing ( I admit I still have all the gear under the stairs!)

I too have my ups & downs but I live for the good and happy times - has got me through the last month!

It took a few years to realise a lot of these things - I would love to be fitter but I am happy to be 'Me' and alive!






That is a wonderful piece of writing .If my 5 year old daughter was old enough to understand it I would read it to her. Right now she is really struggling to accept the changes brittle asthma has made to her life over the last six months as she has had to give up singing,dancing and acting. She no longer does PE at school and is not invited to friends birthday parties anymore.Hopefully one day they will find a cure for this terrible disease. Take Care its nice to know you remain positive .Nikki xx


Thankyou Bex

Your letter was so inspiring..... you have described exactly how it is.

I've suggested some of my family read it as you've said what I want to say.


Truly x


Good on you Bex!

Stay well. x x x x


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