There’s this misconception in my life that somehow I am not as sick as I say I am or something. It is interesting to interact with people and have them treat me based on how real they believe my illness is or how much my illness effects me. The assumptions that people have about me
If I am capable of hitting the baseline of showering and doing my 10 minute makeup routine to make myself feel 75% better than when I don’t do that, it somehow discounts the fact that some days it takes me a whole day just to get to that baseline, and sometimes, often times I don’t make it.
Some days it takes me until noon to feel okay, some days I don’t get to achieve that feeling. But I am really sick and tired of being judged when I am graced with a good day where the stars line up and the inflammation is down and I feel as good as it gets for me.
I refuse to stifle those feelings. I need to encourage more of them and welcome them, it needs to be okay for me to be okay.
I am going to celebrate and encourage my body to do that. I will not hide it in shame, that is what we are supposed to do when we are on disability, we are supposed to only be sickly, never appearing tooo healthy, or they will re-assess you for your eligibility of being on disability.
Here’s what I have concluded. I have been deemed physically disabled. I am fortunate enough to have insurance that in the event that I remain disabled until I am 65, I am covered. To be clear, this is not the life that I want, I would much rather be contributing to my family income, than collecting disability while I wait for surgery, and possibly longer. I would rather build financial freedom than collect a tiny insurance cheque every month.
I’m not really sure why it comes as a surprise to loved ones that I am not doing well, because living in my body is not luxurious. I have been mentioning that in increasing intensity for almost two years now. I have been forced into my bed and abandoned by everyone I thought I could rely on at some point.
There was a point where I was so confused and didn’t even know if I could rely on myself.
I wouldn’t wish what happens to me every single day on my worst enemy. I just couldn’t be that cruel!
I don’t even want to live my life in my body in this condition, I couldn’t imagine forcing someone else to live in the pain that I carry it is torture for me- and I am conditioned to it.
I have danced with the demons that chronic illness brings, brings and have adjusted the expectations that got me here, and realigned them with where I intend to go.
Just because I carry it all so well, because I have practiced carrying trauma alone, for my entire life does not make it easy, and it certainly doesn’t mean I should continue to carry it alone. The brave face that I have worn as a mask for my entire life has come off. I have unmasked myself, and asked for help.
Not like I had a choice in the matter. If I wanted access to help, I had to ask for it. And asking for help with processing your thoughts puts you into a category, the one with the huge stigma… mental health. It doesn’t matter that a huge trigger is your medical condition and your treatment for it and the mental health care and the navigation that goes with all of it is pure torture.
Life with a physical disability is not luxurious.
Life with a mental health disorder like anxiety and depression or an eating disorder are not luxurious.
Life while you are healing from past traumas is definitely not luxurious.
Finding ways to live my life and find pleasure in my life could be seen as luxurious and I definitely do that!
I find as much pleasure as I can in each of these areas, I literally squeeze every ounce of pleasure out of every single moment- never letting any of its magic go to waste.
I find it, seek it out; and if it is nowhere to be found, I make it.
I make my own luxuries when they don’t exist. I choose to do this instead of putting on the old mask.
I only have the privilege of the luxuries that I have worked to obtain, nothing that I have has ever been handed to me.
My life was a sequence of consequences for other peoples actions, or lack of them. Followed always by how I could use my talents please everyone. I became an expert at finding efficiencies that made more time, but then not keeping that time for myself, literally ever. My creativity was always used for the benefit of others, and never really to help me achieve my deepest desires and goals. Even my down time was always spent focused on where I could be of help to anyone but myself.
The consequence on your life when you are the helper that never accepts help, is that you surround yourself with people that prefer remaining apathetic over taking the actions that you normally take, and when you are no longer physically able to give- the relationship dissolves, almost always when the helper is looking for support.
As an abused person who was controlled, not having a real say in your medical treatment and having to fight your way through it for survival is absolutely not helpful, and certainly not luxurious. Being told while you fight for your life every single day that you have to wait in a line that doesn’t have an end date is devastating. It literally affects my self worth… how can my life be this worthless? I am deteriorating, literally, and I am supposed to sit quietly and wait?
Gaining access to help is not luxurious. For me it is literally traumatizing.
My life is not luxurious.
I have trauma surrounding my health.
I have trauma surrounding my mental health.
I have trauma in my relationships.
I have trauma in my life.
I have trauma.
Trauma is no luxury, unless you decide it is.
I decided that if there was a luxury; some kind of gift it could give me, that I would find it, seek it out; and if it is nowhere to be “found” I will create it, and I did, on purpose.
The gift my trauma gave me is really what I learned for myself through it.
That is the gift that my trauma gave me, the luxury that you see, it is my Authenticity.
The gift that I have found in my trauma is this…Authenticity. My own authenticity, my authentic self.
I’ve been many versions of myself as I have grown into the woman I am today because of my journey to find my authentic self.
There were times when authenticity was far from a priority, and being perfect and liked took the reins and truth be told, that is where I lost myself every single time.
I could never achieve true pure happiness for myself, until I committed to authenticity.
Authenticity is far from an all holy attitude. Authenticity is the raw and hard, but pure and clean white hot truth.
It is that hard thing to say that should help bring understanding to strong relationships, but also it will highlight the fractures in relationships that are unhealthy to begin with. The whole truth, that is authenticity.
Authenticity is always the right thing, no matter how hard; it’s the raw answer with the reason why that comes from your souls purpose.
Being authentic for me meant seeing where my actions might have been a disservice to myself and perhaps to others, and making the commitment to changing those actions and behaviours.
In order to be authentic, you will have had to experience the determination to change, or the will to defend your honor in some way.
Authenticity requires a little bit of grit in the beginning, but it gets less rough with practice- it does take practice.
In order to achieve authenticity; you must first be aware.
Without awareness there is no authenticity, only ignorance.
I started with being authentic with myself and realizing that I needed to make some changes. I took the steps I needed to take for me, on my path, and my journey, with the information that I had available to me at any given moment.
I became aware of the trauma surrounding my health, and took steps towards what would authentically be the most powerful and most helpful treatments for me, and I have taken action towards getting the trauma informed treatments that I need to heal.
I acknowledged that the trauma surrounding my mental health needed to be addressed. I took the steps I needed to take to get the kind of help that I actually wanted. There are many different kinds of mental health help available. It is important to find practitioners that share your values.
I acknowledged the trauma that was in my relationships, on individual bases. Being authentic in any relationship can sometimes put that relationship in the balance, especially if one person is acknowledging a trauma that the other person is not ready or willing to face for themselves.
I acknowledged all of the trauma in my life, in all of the places that I found it when I observed. I replaced it with authenticity, for all.
I showed up my authentic self, and those who didn’t want to face their own lack of growth threw shade and abandonment my way. I took that white hot pain and turned it into the motivation I needed to succeed, and the proof that no matter what I will always have my own back.
What happened from there is the birth of my new life, the new me Authentic me.
And then I learned what self love was, authentic self love.
When you have achieved authentic self love, your possibilities are limitless.
4 thoughts on “The gift my trauma gave me.”
Breanna you are strong to keep facing these road blocs, I cannot image the anxiety and stress you feel as it cycles within you. Don’t give up, keep at it, you deserve the best. Sending hugs
Thank you Shirley! Thank you for your support, I really appreciate your words, and all of the love you send!
Although my experiences are vastly different, your post resonated. I understand the feeling that comes with putting on a brave face. The more independent we are, the less others appear to see the challenges. I also agree with the point you make when you talk about the interaction between disability and mental health. Authenticity is a strength and a core value I hold. I appreciated your post.
I am so glad that it resonated with you! It is true, the stronger we appear, the less help is offered. People tend to think we are “fine”.
I’m so glad that you live in authenticity… it is one of the best gifts you can give yourself!
Thank you for sharing your perspective, it means a lot! ❤️
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