Those of us with chronic illness know what it is like to be stoic. We fake a lot of things by putting on a happy face in spite of terrible pain, endless frustration and extreme sadness. And while we are always encouraged to “look on the bright side of things” or to “find the silver lining” – sometimes, things just plain suck!
So while the concept of “fake it til you make it” is fine in theory. It should never apply to someone suffering with chronic illness. You will never earn your own respect if you are always deferring your feelings and hiding behind a mask.
It’s okay to stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well – especially if it isn’t. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking either, if you need to cry, then cry your ass off – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
If we didn’t have the dark times, we would never know what the light looks like. Rather than trying to bury these shady emotions, accept that they will come, and also have faith that they will also go away. Cherish yourself through this ebb and flow and honor these feelings by not trying to shamefully cover them. Be real, and be proud that you are brave enough to live out loud and with honesty.
“I Know this transformation is painful, but you’re not falling apart; you’re just falling into something different, with a new capacity to be beautiful” ~ William C. Hannan
Even for those who aren’t experiencing chronic illness but might be pushing the envelope on a daily basis, using caffeine and sugar to power through life’s endless obligations. This can be the equivalent of a tight-rope act, carefully balancing life, expelling precious energy in every direction and constantly risking total “burn-out”. This is when I encourage people to take a dive into the safety net, and relax… we are not designed to deal with daily doses of high-stress, this puts our adrenals into overdrive causing hormone imbalance, weight gain and fatigue – everything we are using our precious energy to stave off. So, if you are struggling to “keep it together” – let go! and let the whole act fall apart for a while, you’ll be amazed at what happens next!