If you had the opportunity to invent yourself, who would you be?
People tend to see what they want to see. They assume that because you tag yourself at the park with your kids, you were faking being sick the night before. They imagine that your arrival at work means you aren’t actually sick. They tend to disbelieve you, because well…you don’t look sick.
I might not look it, but I sure as heck feel it.
It is no secret that I take on too much. If I am not focusing on myself and my illness, it isn’t real, right? That age-old adage, “out of sight, out of mind?”
It never actually works. I mean yes, I am able to lose myself for a time in other projects. I am able to trick myself into believing I am capable of more. Sometimes I can go days without thinking about doctors’ appointments, blood draws, or medication.
You know what these extra projects actually do? They force me to make choices. Work or kids. Sleep or bedtime stories. Laundry or the park. It forces me to continually give.
I discovered something about myself recently, (nothing that would shock anyone) and something I probably have known all along, but only really started to explore during Mediation training.
I spend all of my time worrying about what everyone else needs. What the kids need, what Jon needs, what my co-workers need, etc. Rarely do I ever think about that I need.
In the rare moments that I do focus on myself, I feel guilty. I think of a million other things that I could be or should be doing.
I look at my kids and I wonder how they see me. Do they picture me weak? Do they see me crying, even when I try so hard to hide the tears? Can they hear my yelps and screams of agony at night? Do they wonder where I go when I am at appointments, labs, infusion centers, and pharmacies?
I wonder if they see how hard I am fighting to be an example for them.
I wonder…who I would be without this disease?
What is the use of thinking this way? I am ALL of these things. A wife, a mother, a career woman, and a chronic-illness warrior–scars and all. If I could be anyone, I would be her:
She is my ideal. She is the girl I pretend to be when my breaths come in harsh and the pressure builds. She is my “Who I would be.”
She is Intrestinal Fortitude strong.