I try my best to stay positive. Barely a day goes by when I don’t say “ah it is what it is” or “I’ll be okay.” I say these not for my own benefit but to reassure others. I didn’t really notice I did it until I fell last week. My ankle gave way causing me to tumble down some stones steps, resulting in a rather attractive cankle and a leg that resembles an overripe banana. I was in a lot of pain having landed with full force onto my ‘good’ knee. I could feel my eyes welling up through shock, embarrassment and pain. I could see the concerned faces of my mother and friends and I smiled. From my expression you’d swear nothing had happened. I beamed from ear to ear and laughed at my clumsiness. Saying things like ‘ I’ll be fine, just a little sore.’ Then after managing to stand back up I hopped to the car with the aid of my mother’s shoulder.
I could still feel the tears trying to force their way out of my smiling eyes. I allowed myself a moment to contort my face into an expression of pain but only when I was sure I couldn’t be seen. Then I turned, smiled and waved goodbye to my friends from the car. When it was just my mother and myself I let the façade slip. I still tried not to give in to the pain but I let myself show the discomfort and pain.
My reaction got me thinking about how I conduct myself around others whilst in pain. I’ll take a moment when their backs are turned to screw my face into a grimace, I’ll laugh and joke to ease concern and I’ll lie or downplay how I feel. It made me realise I very rarely give myself time to feel angry and upset with my situation. I’m so used to thinking “I’m glad it’s me that lives with this rather than my loved ones,’ and ‘it could be worse’ that I don’t give myself time to say that living like this sucks. I didn’t deserve this, I am a good person with a bright future and I didn’t deserve to be this way.
It made me realise it’s okay to be angry, and to think ‘why me?’ And then I cried. Partly from anger and partly from the relief that I’ve let myself feel what I’ve tried not to for years. After getting all this anger off my chest I felt a wave of relief. I felt I had let go, I let go of a hidden emotion. I didn’t hide away from what I felt or protected someone else from my true feelings. I did it for me.
I asked ‘why me?’ and ‘what did I do to deserve this?’ I didn’t ask for an answer, just to get it out there. Just to release the burden I tried to carry. I stopped being ‘brave’. I was angry and selfish and it was amazing. Like Pandora’s box I released all the bad thoughts I had locked away and I was left with calm. The knot in my stomach dissipated and I felt at ease. I let go and let myself feel what I needed to feel. Fibro sucks, it’s horrible and cruel and I didn’t deserve to get it, and I’m okay with it.

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