In any war their will be casualties.
Nothing has opened my eyes to this clearer than a message I’d received in response to a query as to whether or not I, or my actions, had been viewed as an affront or insult to a particular set of people.
Good people. Solid people.
In a nutshell, I was curious as to why I got the boot from a friends-list.
The response was heartbreaking on three accounts. One, that the particular reason really had nothing to do with anything I had done, per se…that I have not lost their connection socially. Second, that the particular reason was saddening in and of itself. Third, that the particular reason had everything to do with “Me.” And it hurts. 🙁
Let me backtrack a wee:
I, over the course of the past year, have ramped up my efforts to educate and explore all things “chronically afflicted.”
I push to open the barriers of social taboo in order to empower other “chronically afflicted” to come out of the dark, let their afflictions be known, thus enabling themselves to STOP the invalidation of societal norms.
This is a wee gander into the made-for-tv-movie chaos that are the daily aspects of my life…as a mother…as a wife…as a woman with kickass mo-fo diseases…I sacrifice modesty and privacy in order to provide an open-book view into the lives of those enduring chronic conditions.
And I’d like to think that I’m making a pretty swell effort in this regard.
Change is never easy. Change of societal norms is akin to getting blood from a stone…pulling teeth from a cow…trying to figure out a good similie while jacked up on a Flexeril/Dilaudid/Naproxen cocktail first thing in the morning…*headdesk*…
However. There is one consequence of doing so that I’d previously not forseen:
My presence, my posts, my entire life at this point…is reminding some select persons of their own difficult afflictions that they would prefer to neither focus on, empower, nor acknowledge for the sake of maintaining the status quo.
In a nutshell…they want to maintain the “normalcy” of life.
In a nutshell…I am that constant reminder of all things they do not wish to recognize.
Now, in all fairness, I needed that reminder. I did. It was the reason I’d made my Facebook “page”…the reason I hauled my “I’ve-earned-this-ass” onto the Google+ train. I’d wanted to “cut the cord” between myself as a “Me” and myself as “Your Friendly Badass Chronically Afflicted Canuck.” I recognize that I have, however, been posting regular health issues on my regular “Me” account.
Because being chronically afflicted IS a significant part of “Me.”
I am reminded, however, that my distress regarding some people who I really wish would follow my conditions (as a validation of why I “chronically decline” events, for example) is negated by the fact that they just don’t want to hear about it! If they did, they would follow me on my so-called “health accounts/pages”.
In this regard, I truly must recognize that people just do not have to give a shit, friend or not. I truly must “Suck it up, Buttercup.”
It does, however, solidify my view that I am at a pretty significant crossroads in my life. I feel like I must completely segregate between the “Me” and the “Chronically Afflicted.” I feel like I must choose between being “Me”, posting “Me” things, and being a kickass health activist whose purpose it is to inform, educate and empower others to enable themselves to push through the Whine-1-1 and pursue a heightened quality of life and a desire to educate, inform and empower others.
Really, it’s kinda like it’s own Wella Balsalm commercial. I tell 10 friends who then tell 10 friends…and so on…and so on…
At this point, I verily believe that what I am attempting to do is well received by my communities. I verily believe that I have, to some degree, broken the societal taboos and empowered people to speak out about their afflictions in order that certain social relationships can be better understood within their own lives.
I know I have lost good people along this journey. I know they are entitled to not give a damn. I know now that I can be a reminder of their own difficult circumstances.
Such is the nature of the war I fight.
Such is the nature of fighting for the greater good.
Such is the nature of sacrifice.
So, how do you manage the consequence of the people in your life going AWOL once you’ve chosen to be public with your afflictions? Who stuck around? If you’ve no afflictions of your own, how do you manage watching your friend/family member go off on a journey of which you must decide whether or not to follow?
I am embarking on a new journey. It is where I am meant to be at this moment, this point of my life…because ultimately…it is, most assuredly, my life.
“SpoonieVille, the final frontier. These are the voyages of your friendly neighbourhood Chronic Badass. Her five-year mission: to explore strange food products and supplements, to seek out new therapies and new holistic approaches to inflammation, to boldly go where no chronically afflicted has gone before.”