Now I don’t normally start with pictures. I typically like to give an explanation before I show even more of my life. But, today I am going to do it. I am going to have a discussion about my community. The people who have been or at one time were in my life. I have been luckier than most. I have a solid support system. But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t suffered from rejection by the hands of CRPS.
This was a snapchat story I posted on a private story. If you don’t know about my private story- my bad. Anyways, I posted this as I was working out at the gym. No, nothing specific happened that caused this reaction. But when I am at the gym, I typically have time to just be in my own thoughts. I reflect on how I’m doing and think about how I should handle things. This is something that constantly came to my mind: people (girls and guys) running the minute they find out I have a pain condition. I’ve heard things like “I’m too complicated” or that no one wants to bring someone in their life who is “problematic”. Would you want to know that people will run from you like the plague?
I would like to say that often, I am a pretty likable person. I mean I’m not the most confident person in the world, but I feel like it’s not hard for me to connect with people. Throughout all college years, I was able to find a group of people to talk to in classes. I didn’t make a ton of solid lifelong friends from college because I was dealing with too much shit and I was a commuter. However, I did have plenty of acquaintances. Now what’s the point of me saying this? To brag about how popular I am? Hell no. I wouldn’t say that I am the most popular person in the world (not even close). But I don’t give a shit. I do care, however, about misconceptions about me for nothing I did. Correction: nothing I can control.
Typical Interactions With a Possible “New” Friend or Boyfriend
Somehow we meet and we end up talking about a ton we have in common. Then we exchange snaps and go about our way (that is the way we connect with humans these days). Anywho, we snap for days and it seems to be going just fine. I typically end up thinking “Wow! I made a new friend” or ‘’wow I may be interested in this guy!”. Now the part I love the most is that they only know what I tell them. I can reinvent myself. But there’s a slight catch. I now speak publicly about my condition(s). There is no way to hide it and frankly I’m sick of hiding it. Flash forward a couple of weeks and I notice that the person has slowed down their responses right after I write a new blog or do some other type of awareness raising. Eventually they just stop. This makes me so nervous because I feel like I did something wrong. By this point they are done talking to me and its as if we never knew each other. Let me tell you, neither a possible relationship OR friend is easier to understand when in the hands of rejection.
Now, I can write that interaction as if it just happened to me. This is how often it happens. I spend so much time hating on myself. I think I must be weird or too clingy. Maybe I seem desperate or like I will get to be annoying. The truth is, I’m just trying to find any reason why people run or stop answering me other than my condition. I begin to assume they are going to drop me, so I talk that way. No one- especially people who live with such a lonely condition should have to go through this. I’m freakin sick of it.
What about my condition makes people run for the hills? Is it because sometimes I look weird trying to do things? Or is it because I ask questions that are deeper than “what’s up”. I’m deeper because I have learned that I can’t just accept life to be as superficial as what’s up. I don’t want to waste my time that I fight so hard for every day. This gives me a different perspective. So many people my age are lucky enough to NOT have this perspective on life. But I can’t change experiences and my views. I shouldn’t have to. When I asked a friend these same questions, she said that people are scared of the unknown. They don’t know about CRPS and what that entails, so they don’t want to get involved. How the hell can I explain CRPS if I am never given the chance?
Spending time thinking about all of this made me ponder if I want to keep sharing my life. If I want to continue raising awareness and actually losing my chance at anonymity. I tend to ask myself: is it worth it? People being able to read on me, or read my words, or watch me speak is causing them to run away. They don’t want such a complex friend/relationship. They read about my occasional “checking out”, they watch me struggle with tasks and they determine off of that. But by the end of my workout, I made my decision. F*** it.
I have been brave enough to share my story. Because of this, I receive messages every day of people who have CRPS or FNSD or PTSD thanking me for what I am doing. Now the thanks are great but that’s not why it’s worth it. It is worth it because I am giving that one person a glimmer of hope that the fire has burned away. I am showing people that yes, this life is hard. Sure it can be complicated. But it is so worth every little hardship. If people don’t like that, then I wouldn’t want them in my life anyway. That’s hard to say and even harder to actually believe because as humans we want approval. But that’s a battle I just can’t worry about. Some people can suck. They make judgements or they want life to be easy. I pray to God it will be easy for them, but I still haven’t met anyone with an easy life. I should not have to hide in order to get people to want to know me. If that’s the case, I don’t want anyone else noticing me. I’ve spent way too long trying to pretend and I’m just done. If you don’t want to be around someone else who has chronic pain, then I don’t want you around me. But if someone I know is reading this, I need to tell you something. There is so much more to me than my disease. I am not too complex. I am simply someone who is growing and living life to the fullest. I am open about my life. If you don’t have anything “wrong” going on in your life, then please, write a book because you might be the only one on this planet. Remember. We are all humans. We all have different fights. Anything but love is just pointless. We must support each other.