I have been writing and sharing information for a decade now about the struggle of so many autoimmunes out there and some of the daily battles they face but I have also learned a very valuable lesson in the process, which is;
Only people who really care about you and want to understand what you are going through will read what you share or want to listen to your struggles.
You will have to face the painful fact that there are those in your life, no matter if they are related, former close friends or even partners, who will not want to know anything and simply want you to just stop talking about your life.
It’s heartbreaking but true.
They will often construct some strange rationale about why they are choosing to remain ignorant like … you are really just depressed, pretending, overacting, lazy, deceitful, moody, or something else along these lines.
The truth is they just don’t want to know and it really does reflect on how much they care about you. That is probably one of the most painful realities of this life.
They are also the ones that won’t even ask how you are doing or coping and will avoid all references to and attempts to understand your life.
If you are faced with these people as a result of your illnesses and health struggles then what can you do?
Well aside from the obvious fact that we must accept what people choose to do and how they choose to act, we can realize that we do still have some choices and power left within us. At least that is how I choose to see the situation.
Even though I didn’t choose this life, and I feel at my body’s mercy, I have chosen to take the attitude that I am at nobody else’s mercy as far as they intend to treat me or speak to me. … Nobody!
I decided some time ago that I no longer have to explain myself to those who don’t respect my fight or struggle. I don’t have to apologize for what these diseases may do or rob me of. I don’t have to talk to or interact with people who show no regard for the person I am and what I must contend with.
I don’t have to be friendly or kind to those who don’t show me the same respect, no matter how few friends I may have left. I don’t have to beg for someone’s tolerance and consideration as though I have done something wrong. I don’t have to push my body and pain limits to show someone I am worthy of their love and/or friendship.
I have found ways to honour the person I am inside despite how people may see me or how much ignorance they choose to be in about my life.
How did I reach this place?
Well it’s been a deep down feeling that has remained steadfast inside me despite some of the cruel and unthinking things I have been dealt. Perhaps my mother did teach me a little bit about accepting yourself? She certainly displayed this in all she did. She never looked down on herself or ever doubted herself for longer than a moment. Her ego always resurfaced and I admired it so much.
I recently found myself replaying in my mind all that I had had to contend with, cope with, manage and suffer in one year and I found myself simply amazed at myself and how I had somehow continued to go on! I contrasted that to many others whom I have known who have not coped with life’s experiences and who have fallen at hurdles that I can only dream of having today!
As I contrasted the different depths of experiences and the stamina and resilience I have shown I began to realize that the person I am now is not a second class citizen or one to be looked down on or disrespected, but rather I consider the person that has endured all these things, and yet kept trying to be there for my loved ones and friends, and all the while managing to achieve some real goals and milestones (even if that has been to do some small things for myself) as being one of the most strongest, kindest, caring, sincere, loving and authentic people there is.
With this in mind I can accept that there are people in the world that will never know what I go through or even care, but that’s okay, it only reflects on them and not me.
The other day I spoke to someone who was telling me some of the difficulties that they encountered as a single mum. I listened and engaged with interest and respect. Despite the fact that I had been sitting the whole time in a leg brace, with a tremor and in terrible pain and with vision problems, I truly wanted to know all about their life. The fact that she didn’t want to know anything about mine will remain a testimony to who she is and not about my value in this world.
I truly hope that my fellow autoimmunes who read this will have a renewed sense of self worth, self belief and self love and to those who care about us enough to want to understand what we go through, I want them to know how much we truly appreciate them. Always.