Okay, Okay, I must admit you are ALL special readers!! I don’t mean to make anyone feel left out. I think you are ALL amazing! But something quite touching happened to me today, and I thought I would share.
First of all, let me be the first to say that I have lost many friends because of my Chronic Pain. Some of the people who were the most special to me at one point or another are no longer present in my life. Not only have I had to face accepting myself for who I am now, I have had to try to convince people who I thought loved me to accept me as well.
One by one as my ‘friends’ stopped calling, I tried to convince myself that the real problem was ME. I wanted to believe the very best in people, and it was easier to lay the blame entirely on myself than to admit that the simple explanation was that none of these people could handle watching me suffer…, Maybe they could handle it and just chose not to…. Maybe it reminded them of their own vulnerabilities…. Who knows really, but I internalized it a great deal, and it broke my heart. I am STILL the same person in so many ways as I always have been! I STILL have a huge heart, I STILL love to laugh, I STILL love to socialize and connect with others. It is just that my pain makes those things more of a challenge for me now. I might have limitations, but that doesn’t mean that I am limited. I still see an unlimited amount of love I can give to others, and when I give, I still give all I can. Just the delivery might be a little different than it once was.
It has taken me a long time to trust people again, and I work everyday to stay open and vulnerable. I do NOT want this pain to make me jaded and cynical (It does at times, but nobody is perfect, right?). There are times that people with chronic pain might come off as guarded, but I can assure you that not always what you see is what you get. What healthy people might not understand about living with Chronic pain is that you become used to bracing yourself! You brace yourself against pain all day every day…. You brace yourself against stereotypes….. You brace yourself against judgment….. and some of us brace ourselves against the world, because God knows this world wasn’t built for people like us.
Anyhow, I am rambling I think…. The point is, friendship is very important to me, and once I give my heart I give ALL of it. What people chose to do with my heart once they have it is up to them. It has been broken in the past, but it has healed, and I am ready to move on from that place.
Today as I was surfing on the net for ideas for writing topics my honey came into our room and said “Hey, Who is this lady? I got an email today from someone I don’t know, and it was about you!”. I didn’t know what to think at first…. It’s funny how when something takes you out of your comfort zone, your first thought it always Uh-Oh!! Ha! Ha!
I said “OHMYGAWD, that is a friend of mine. I knew her years ago, and she has been following me on Graceful Agony. She’s sweet. Why was she emailing YOU though?”. To which he replied “She sure is sweet” and then proceeded to read me a BEAUTIFUL note. It made me cry!
She took the time to sit down and THANK the love of my life without even knowing him! She thanked him for taking care of me and loving me. She then offered herself in any way we needed help.
And I haven’t stopped thinking about it all day.
What an amazing thing to do! It probably only took a few minutes to write this little note, but it is something I will never forget.
That is one of the reasons why I wanted to start this page to begin with. It is a way to reach out and support others. It is a way to lift someone’s spirits. It is a way to listen to people when they are having a hard day. So many of us with a chronic illness feel isolated from the rest of the world. We aren’t egomaniacs that believe we are the only ones that suffer… The way pain works is it completely takes over every part of you, and in doing so it also takes everything AWAY from you!! The very pathology of pain is isolating.
It is comforting to know that people support and care for you. It is validating to meet people just like you that are going through the same set of issues. It is encouraging when you know that other people are fighting for you and cheering you on. It is empowering to not have to walk this road alone.
And it takes an outstretched hand to lift you out of yourself and into the real world again.
To my very special reader (who will remain anonymous, and I hope she doesn’t mind me posting this), YOU have made a difference in my life today. You gave me a gift. Instead of focusing on my pain all day, I have focused on your words. And I can’t thank you enough.
If you know someone who is suffering today, please pass it on…. It only takes a few minutes to potentially change somebody’s whole day.
I am grateful for ALL OF YOU. Your SUPPORT humbles me.