Say What You Wanna Say and Let The Words Fall Out


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Life is funny sometimes. I can’t apologize for my last post, because it was what I was feeling at the time, but it is slightly ironic that it came just after receiving an award for being an inspiration. Unfortunately, living with a chronic illness, especially without a diagnosis, is a constant roller coaster of emotions. One day you feel like you have everything all under control – your life, while maybe not going exactly as planned, has a purpose and you are stronger for overcoming more than you ever thought you could do. And then out of nowhere, you’re handed a reminder of how human you really are. And it’s okay to be human, in fact, it’s exactly what you are supposed to be.

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I often struggle with who I am and what is expected of me ever since I became sick. I’m constantly feeling guilty for not be able to do this or that, or letting this person down…. again…. It really makes it hard to maintain stable confidence in yourself when you are constantly showing pieces of yourself to different people. It feels very fake and rehearsed. Who I am and what I show depends on who I am around and what situation I am in. For example, if I am in public of any kind, no matter how much pain I am in or how much anxiety I have, I will play it off like nothing hurts and put a smile on my face. At work, although they know I am dealing with medical issues, I will put effort into looking nice, a smile on my face, and be cheerful and helpful no matter what I am experiencing on the inside. I even did this at doctor’s offices at first. I got so tired of doctor’s telling me it was anxiety or depression, when I knew it wasn’t, that I played off my symptoms at times or only gave them a very limited version of how it was affecting my life.My husband, at one visit with my doctor, pointed out that I could be crying hysterically in pain or dry heaving in the car on the way to the clinic,  but then be as normal as can be while I sat in the waiting room or on the exam table, only to return to “myself” when we returned to the car. 

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It’s not that I am trying to hide who I am or that I want to be a fake person, but often there’s consequences of showing your true self. All of us with a chronic illness have done this – probably more than we’d like to admit. How many times have you answered the question, “How are you doing?” or “How are you feeling?”. We all know no one expects to hear:

“Oh god I am still doing awful. I was up all night AGAIN in the bathroom, I wasn’t able to get any sleep. The rashes all over my body are getting worse. My lymph nodes are swollen and I feel like I am going to DIE, like literally. I worry about dying all the time. I’m bleeding from every orifice this week. What a flair I am having! I had to miss work again, I’m probably going to get fired. Then I’ll be homeless shortly after. Life is just not fair…. Nope, they haven’t found anything yet. I have no hope I’ll ever get a diagnosis anyways. I keep getting told it’s in my head so often that I do think I am crazy sometimes. And some days I think there’s nothing to work and live for, but I don’t want to kill myself either. C’est La Vie”.

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Instead, we just say “I’m fine” or “Good” “Oh yeah, still working with my doctor’s and going through medical tests. I know they’re real close to finding a diagnosis. I am so lucky”.

Most people won’t understand and some may not care if we told them how we truly feel. I’ve learned to be a great actress in my illness. I can be who ever YOU need me to be or however YOU need me to act. It’s just easier for both of us.  

Ultimately, it’s my way of self-protection; building a wall around this part of me that I am embarrassed of. I want you to see the strong girl who handles so much and works so hard, who is inspirational and motivates others. I want to be a cheerleader, a hero, the brave one… I want other’s to look up to me and like me for me. The girl who is an UNDIAGNOSED WARRIOR. I am those things, too. I’m also many things to many people:

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  • a puppy and bunny mommy
  • a sister
  • an aunt
  • a daughter
  • a family member
  • a friend 
  • an associate
  • an employee
  • a student
  • a patient

As I have gotten older, I realize it’s alright to be each one of these things. It’s truly not being fake or a coward. Because you some part of you IS that person. And maybe it’s not everyday that you have the strength to put on your makeup, and you’re angry or emotional because you have dealt with so much this week. That’s OK too. Feeling guilt is a useless emotion,  but sometimes it feels so good to just cry so  damn hard that it hurts. Or be so angry that you just need to SCREAM OUT AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS! It’s healthy.

My therapist told me once that I shouldn’t feel bad about myself when I feel frustrated or when the anger builds up – she says that is WHAT KEEPS ME GOING AND FIGHTING. And I think she is right. It may not be pleasant. In fact, it might seem ridiculous at times, especially when you’re set off over something seemingly so small and stupid, but really is just a reaction to all the things you have slowly built up inside of you. How else can you continue on a journey like this, when you are constantly beat down over and over by your symptoms or by other people? It’s easy to give up, to lay down and hang the white flag. But it’s THESE MOMENTS, as crappy and unfair as they are, that really make you push harder and want to FIGHT as hard as you can to PROVE EVERYONE WRONG. And someday you WILL!

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You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Innocence, your history of silence
Won’t do you any good
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Read more: Sara Bareilles – Brave Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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