When I had to leave my job last year, I expected everyone to be supportive. The responses shocked me.
Yes, my close friends and family were very supportive. Really, except for my sister (but there are other issues there), I couldn’t have asked for more. It was amazing. The shocking part was the number of people who seemed surprised when I left my job. Many asked why I was leaving; it had never occurred to them that it could have been because of my health.
Over the years I’ve put on a brave face. I do this partly because I don’t like to dwell on all the health crap. I like to focus on the better parts of my life. I do this partly so people don’t get annoyed that I complain too much. I also do this partly because I feel like if I let my guard down and give in a little, that I’ll end up giving in a whole lot, and I won’t be able to keep things in control anymore.
I thought of that just now when I saw this on Facebook. It’s so true. I work hard to “keep it together,” to not dwell on the shit I deal with daily, and to appear ok. And that means that most people have no idea what I deal with, even in the smallest way. I’m not looking for every person I know to check in on me constantly, but I suppose I need to let them know at least a little bit about what’s happening. After all, how can I expect to raise awareness when even the people in my life don’t realize how sick I am? And on a much simpler note, I need to let people know so that they’ll understand that sometimes, I really just need a hug. Being strong is good, but some days, a hug makes all the difference.