Desired Reflections And Agendas
I hear this so much in the chronic illness community and it is a topic I have long wanted to write on. I hear people saying they hate it when someone says:
“you look good today”……my reply “thank you” with a smile
“You must be feeling better”…..my reply “working on it” with a smile
“You look like you are improving”…my reply “oh I hope so”..with a smile
“it is so nice to see you sitting up, you must be better”…my reply…”Oh I hope so”..with a smile.
And I could go on and on with similar statements. I can remember a time many years ago when I felt the same way. And then one day, a friend asked me when I told her I hated people to say those things to me…”just what is it you want people to see? What is it you want the world to see in you? Do you want them to see you as poor sick you or to see you as a warrior who fights each day in spite of all you are enduring?”
I thought about that long and hard and asked myself was I really wanting so badly to be seen as “sick”, “chronically ill”, “in pain” that I was afraid to allow anyone to see any good moments in me? Living with chronic pain and chronic illness is hard enough without feeling like we have to make every minute of the day be an image of constant pain and sickness.
I believe attitude plays a huge role in our health. And I am saddened to see so many that want the world to see them as sick all the time. I have horrible times, I have bad times and I have some good moments, so what is wrong with someone else seeing the good moments or seeing me fight to act like it is good when it is not as good as I would like?.
I look at it this way. If a person sees me as “looking good”, then my mojo is working and all the fight I am putting in to live as normal as possible is working. I work for those good moments and I treasure them. And there is always…ALWAYS something good in each day. I do not care if it is your dog coming up and loving on you and making you smile. Or your best friend showing up and hugging you. Or a movie you watched that made you laugh. There is always something good if we look for it.
What is the image you want people to see? I want people to see me as a fighter, a survivor..a thriver..a warrior who gets up every day in spite of the amount of pain I am in, in spite of spending most of my time in a hospital bed, in spite of the nausea, in spite of the oxygen. I do not want people to see me as someone who is trying hard to show the sick side of me.
We all have agendas in life whether we realize it or not. We have an agenda to finish school. We have an agenda to get a good job. We have an agenda to meet someone to spend our lives with. Being chronically ill and in chronic pain, I find it hard when I see people who make it their agenda to show the world how sick they are and that is what comments like “I hate it when people say I look good” are intended to do.
For those that do that, ask yourself why you want so badly for someone to see you as sick. Why is it so important that everyone know you are chronically ill or in chronic pain? and last, but not least, “why is it not more important to show yourself as a fighter and a survivor?” Life is what we make it no matter the challenges we are given. As long as my doctor knows what is wrong with me and is taking care of me, the only person I care about knowing how sick I am is ME. And that is when my warrior mode steps in and I fight to live as normal a life as I can. I do not want people to view me as poor, pitiful Deb. I want people to see me as someone who is a survivor, someone who motivates others to be a survivor and that fights to NOT be sick every minute of every day …someone who puts on a smile even when it is bad.
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