Tuesday, May 22, 2012
I grew up hearing the phrase "God helps those who help themselves". Well, when are you going to give me that help? Years ago I worked 3 part-time jobs (worked Mon-Sun. 7 days a week) plus carried 18 credit hours in college, as well as being a single parent to 4 children ages 6 and under. In my situation now, I've sent email after email. I've blogged, I've tweeted, I've used every social media network I possibly can trying to make a new career for myself. Still not a break. I certainly feel that I've tried my best to "help myself". All I've received for my efforts is an incurable illness, a husband who cheated and left me, sadness, rejection and disappointment. I have gained a few more "fans" to at least show me I'm not alone in my daily, chronic pain. For that, I am thankful. Everyone says to me "In HIS time, things will come together for you". When's that time? Will it ever come? Will I ever be able to feel happy again? Or that my life is worth something? How many more nights can I tell myself that "Tomorrow will be the day. Tomorrow things will start to turn around for me"? I know I'm supposed to have patience God, but patience doesn't pay the bills or buy food. Patience doesn't give me a sense of security or tell me that everthing's going to be alright. Patience doesn't wipe away the tears that are running down my face, nor does it cure my illness or the illnesses of those around me who are also suffering. I've cried out to you Lord, begging for your help. To at least have a sense of peace. To at least not feel so alone. I don't know what else to do."
This was my Facebook status last night. I had a friend comment and ask me "Can anyone you're contacting about a seminar see this?". I told her no, that my facebook is locked down tight (due to my impending divorce) and only friends can see anything. Not even "friends of friends" can see photos. I've thought about this all day, and you know what? I don't feel that there's anything in that status that would "hurt" me in my prospects of conducting a chronic pain/invisible illness seminar. At first, her comment made me feel ashamed, like I'd posted something really wrong. Her comment made me feel weak.
After thinking about this all day, I've decided that I'm not going to feel bad for posting my true feelings at that particular time. I'm not going to let it make me feel weak. I've decided that her comment, is one of the reasons why I want to conduct seminars on living with chronic pain/invisible illness. She obviously doesn't get it, and that's ok. She's even a nurse, and a very good one at that, but she just doesn't understand how my illness works. She probably doesn't have any experience with it.
When living with a chronic pain/invisible illness that there's no cure for...or even a solid treatment plan for, depression is a normal symtom of the illness. Depression is even listed on everything you read, as a symptom of fibromyalgia. Even when things are going as good as can be expected in a person's life, when they have an illness like mine, they still have bouts of depression. With my husband walking out on me April 8th, and already in a new relationship with an old highschool girlfriend, not paying me the money I need to support my daughter and myself, and the fact I haven't worked in years due to my health, I'm under a lot of pressure. Add in my illnesses, and in all honesty I think that I'm actually coping pretty good.
Sure, I get sad. I cry. I feel depressed sometimes, but I get out of bed every day. I do what I can to clean my house with the help of my kids. I keep up with 2 blogs and 2 facebook fan pages every day. I keep beating the bushes, looking for opportunities to possibly present a seminar. Public speaking for advocacy and awareness is my passion, and I won't give up on making a career out of it. I keep up with my medicines and doctor appointments. I've taken the initiative to make phone calls that need made, to speak to attorneys, to try and get bills into my name and keep up with them.
In all honesty, I think I could be doing a whole lot worse then what I am right now. After thinking about this all day today, I decided that if anyone reads my status from last night that had been considering hiring me to do a presentation decided not to hire me because of those words, then they're the one's who really need to hear my presentation. They need to be made aware of what it's like to live the daily life of someone with a chronic pain/invisible illness. What they will see if they read those words, is that they're going to get a presentation from a person who's honest. From a person who isn't ashamed to tell the truth of what living a life such as mine, is like. Someone who's willing to stand up and tell people how impurfect life is when you're faced with a chronic illness. They will see that I don't quit. I don't give up. That I'm strong enough to keep facing my life day after day even when it's tough. I hope they see the passion I have, to try and educate about people like us. People who live their life waiting, hoping, and praying for a cure. The only way we'll ever have a cure, is if enough people hear our stories. If they start to truly understand what life is like for us. If enough demands for funding is made. If pressure is put on political parties and pharmaceutical companies, to fund research.
I'm not afraid of my status. I'm not ashamed of my status. I'm not ashamed of my feelings, nor of my illnesses. After thinking about it all day long, I'm proud of my status. Since my facebook is locked down tight, I've decided to take that status, and turn it into a blog post. That is how strong-willed I am. That's how honest I am. That is the type of professinal speaker you'll get, if you hire me. I will never apologize for my true feelings. I'll never apologize for speaking the truth. I hope and pray, that I'm the type of speaker that you'd be proud to hire.