If you read my last post you already know that my wonderful husband gave me an attitude adjustment the other evening, in his calm soothing voice, just by saying, "You need to start opening up to your friends about how you are really doing." Ever since he told me that I have been meditating on his statement. All I can say is, "He is right." He is and for some reason he always is. It is funny how you can know something about yourself all along but you still put up this shield so you don't have to deal with things, especially when it comes to emotional aspects of your life.
Yesterday, when I had an unexpected visit from one of my long time friends, Barb, it seemed I have begun to take Rich's advice, which I processed, and decided to open up a little. Barb was shocked when I did. She even said, "See, you need to talk too but you never tell me this stuff." I could tell she was happy and honored I opened up to her. It felt good. But I also know if I can talk to someone it is Barb. When you have a deep friendship over 30 some years you know you can trust one another. We were talking about being weak and how the world see's tears and struggling as a weakness. I was telling Barb how tears really are good, they cleanse the soul. We talked for a few hours on the porch, not solving many problems, but giving one another some things to think about, and as I have thought more about our encounter, I have thought more about opening up. When I think of other close friends of mine that ask me how I am I always say, "okay" because I think they don't want to hear it. But I do know for a fact that they really do, so I have decided the next time one of my close friends ask me how I am doing I am going to tell them. I am going to tell them the truth about the pain and be more specific instead of a simple "okay." I am going to share my fatigue struggles. I will tell them about my muscle weakness. I am going to let it rip, to say the least. Being a person who is very good at reading body language I will be able to tell if they really do care or it is just a passing question to break the silence. I am not going to pity myself or play the victim. I despise pity, so this is not my intentions at all. I am thinking how I try to educate people on chronic illness through my blog and on facebook but in person I cover it all up with make up and smiles. I guess I am what you would call a chronic illness hypocrite. Hummm!
I believe the reason we hold all these secrets in is because we really do not want to look weak. If you watch tv or look at the world we are always being told to be happy, look good, do this or do that to be this. If you have a wrinkle get it fixed. If you are overweight go on a diet. If you are sad, go on a pill. It is so annoying to me so I never turn the tv on during the day. I can't stand the news. I am sick of politics and liars so it is easier to avoid it all. It is all messed up so why get all worked up about it? I think in some strange way all of the craziness going on in the world has made me grow a crunchy outer crust just like an m & m. Inside I am soft and vulnerable but on the outside I am as tuff as that shell never letting anyone in too far. We all just want to be loved and understood, don't worry, for me I know I am loved and understood by my Rich and the kids, but I just don't think the outside world can handle it at all. It is deep, it is scary, and it is unfixable. So what happens in return? I locked myself away in my own little prison that has held me a prisoner. I am in my safe place all the time. Alone. I don't go out much unless Rich is with me. He is my net. When he isn't with me I am messed up. In the eyes of the world I am used up goods. I do not fit into the mold of society so it is just easier to shut it all out. Well, I think it is time to take the key, open the prison cell, get out and throw the key away.
I have made the decision it is time to start just letting it all out, not just here on my blog, but out in the world. I have to stop acting like the wonder woman I once was. I have to start being who I am, broken, weak, and a person in need, more than ever of love and understanding. If people run that is okay. I really don't have much more to lose. In saying this I am surely not going to complain to anyone. I am just saying if people ask how I am doing I am going to tell. It is going to be a very hard thing for me to do. I am going to be seeing a few close friends today and they always ask how I am. I always say, "okay, how are you?" and flip it over to them. Today I am making a comitment to myself, to Rich, and to my friends to be honest about some of the things going on. Yup, there is the chance I will have tears, not a chance a certainty, but after talking with Rich the other night I am ready to take that chance. My life is hard so why do I keep hiding behind all of the glitz and glam? I know why, because the world tells me I have to, and because I don't think people can handle the truth. I always feel like people are looking at me thinking, you look to good to be sick. It is a horrible mind game, almost worse than the pain itself.
Here's to a new chapter. The chapter of letting it all hang out, so to speak. It is my hope in writing this that many of you who are reading reading it, those of you who live as I do, will take a chance on yourself and let it all hang out too. If a tear or two well up in your eyes, who cares. If people care about you they will understand and listen. If they shut you off then you will know who you can trust and you will learn yet another lesson, the ones who care and the ones who don't, and it is okay. We must stop allowing this world to control our thoughts when it comes to not being perfect. We must all knock down the walls of always being strong and perfect. The world isn't perfect, sick or not sick.We must support one another because we all have struggles, some health related, some financially, some emotionally, etc. Just being there for someone can make all the difference in the world. Listening, loving, being present, holding a hand, giving a hug, sending a card, writing a e-mail. Lets change this world one person at a time and start to care more about one another and forget what the world tells us to be, selfish, rude, arrogant. Let's do what we were sent here to do, just LOVE one another! I believe we CAN do it one small step and one small change in ourselves at a time!