Anyone who knows me is well aware that when I get quiet, things are not right. I sat on this for a long time. It’s probably been in the making for over a month. But that’s what I do, that’s what living a life unhealthy does; it’s a roller coaster. I have dozens and dozens of potential posts in my “private archive” I could have posted. Treasures that are full of yesterday’s truths, but since they aren’t my Today, I’d be posting for the wrong reasons. I decided, that rather than post a smoke screen, I’d rather not post at all. I’m thankful things aren’t so chaotic in my mind and heart and body this week. I’m feeling more like myself, but I also have to be honest when I’m struggling, especially with yours truly, even once I’m out of it. I want to forget the negative ways I’ve been feeling and pretend I’m immune to the ups and downs of life, as well as this disease. I’d love to continue a facade that comes with a bright banner that reads “strongest person ever”, but it’s not true, it never has been. I’m only as strong as my truth will allow me to be; we all know that lying to ourselves about how strong we are merely creates a prison of weakness.
I tried to move on, but my words were there staring me in the face. Instead of deceiving myself in the way I’d like to, I’ll use these words to acknowledge this place I was in, and acknowledge the hurt.
December 4, 2017
To be honest, I haven’t felt much like writing — I don’t even want to read my woes, or acknowledge them for that matter. Feels like ‘same story different day’. And for that reason, I also haven’t felt much like sharing. November was tough. One of life’s many obstacles rolled into another — and then another and then another — and my body is just plain fully exhausted with an added side of exacerbations. Now that I think about it, October was rough as well, and only a handful of days into December…well, I’m remaining hopeful. Each day I fight to fill my cup with a hope that means something, a purpose that goes beyond the physical abilities I simply just lack, and despite discouragement, the will to keep trying to do more and be more, yet accept myself even when I come up empty. And I’ve been coming up empty a lot lately.
I’ve noticed, nobody really wants to hear about when life is hard, and challenges are received best with a happy ending. As much as we think we want the honest truth about those we care about, we don’t know what to do with the truth. Jack Nicholson’s quote from A Few Good Men was very accurate, often, we can’t handle the truth. We have a desire to “fix” those around us with suggestions and advice, and when that doesn’t work, we shut down and rely on a subtle form of denial. This of course helps no one involved, but feels better than facing the facts.
However, most of our brokenness can’t be fixed with advice, and it can’t be fixed by avoidance. At times, it can only be fixed in silent support that goes beyond words because it’s full of warmth, or action, or the wisdom to know when some hurt just needs to be acknowledged and nothing else. That’s it.
As I write, I realize many who know me personally might learn things about me for the first time through my blog, and maybe it’s hurtful to know that I’d never share this with you face to face, and I’m much more comfortable keeping all of this to myself, or would rather voice only to strangers who can understand what it feels like to keep silent in the loneliness and overwhelming-ness of a disease. Sometimes I need more than simply an audience to read my words as though they are reading a story – I need an audience who listens because they know what it’s like not to be heard; who feel my pain, because they’ve actually felt it. If nothing else, I need to express my trials, simply so they don’t eat me alive with all the effort it takes to pretend they aren’t there. Maybe I just need to clear the air a bit, acknowledge my pain and own it – because what we see in a person with our eyes is hardly a complete picture.
It’s not relinquishing hope or succumbing to failure to admit this disease really sucks sometimes. It’s not a sign I’m giving up, making excuses, or playing a victim to blame symptoms – it’s actually a reality of my life. In fact, quite the contrary is true; to expect to remain well would be downright foolishness. But I can’t blame the general population for not knowing a struggle they can’t feel and most of us keep silent about. Some of us even go as far as to carry a label of a diagnosis while pretending life goes on as usual. Bless them. But that hasn’t been my world for a long time. My invisible symptoms interrupt every part of my existence on most days, but no one knows they are there but me. Clearly I hide them well behind a smile, because what choice do I have? I’m battling vertigo, rib pain, light-headedness, worsening spasticity, optic neuritis, and symptoms I’m not even sure what they are. Not to mention other symptoms that never go away and that’s just the way it is. The stress of medical bills, referrals, appointments I must make, and appointments I can’t afford, hang in the forefront of my mind while I attempt to push past them to see anything else. Yet, I refuse to be miserable when I suffer miserably. So I camouflage my symptoms with the tools I have acquired along the way, and when that’s not enough, I retreat, because being alone is often better than faking it. For today, that will have to be okay.
Yet, I can’t help but scan the world with eyes that recognize other hurting eyes, and sometimes I just want to approach them, but I know I never will.
I get it. I’m sorry. I know how hard you have to push yourself just to exist. You’re not alone. I see your pain. I see you. Maybe you see me too.