Strong. Courageous. Brave. Inspirational.
People actually use these words to describe me, and every time they do, it blows my mind.
I don’t think so.
What is so brave about writing? What is so courageous about sharing my story? What makes me so strong?
I believe, if nothing else, that you should be the authentic you at all times. I have nothing to hide from anyone; I am me. It’s plain and simple. I have nothing to hide; you can ask me any question.
I hid for a long time. I hid my bipolar diagnosis (as best as I could). I hid the severity of my chronic illness for years, not wanting to worry anyone unnecessarily or be a burden.
And with writing, I found that I am not a shadow. I can write, and I can just be me.
My story is a rough one, so I guess I can see how the inspirational would fit, as somehow I’m still here! But otherwise, I don’t feel especially strong, brave or courageous.
It’s only in the last month or so that things have been on the upswing–significantly so in the last few days. I’ve had a “staycation” of almost a month with no appointments.
I had someone tag my blog in a post today about their invisible illness, saying thank you to me for inspiring them to share their story. I had someone ask me to be on a podcast to talk about mental and chronic illness. I’ve had people email me after writing articles, and I’ve read some amazing comments about my writing. I’ve made new friends through writing. I’m applying for something cool (writing related). I write, and it makes a difference.
Sometimes I write for you guys. Tonight, I’m writing for me.
I don’t think I’m any of those things people say I am. I think I’m just me, to the best of my ability. Some days I’m better at it and some days I can’t even put in the effort to be me, but I am real. I am grounded. I have a different perspective on life and priorities than most other people my age because of my experiences. I’m grateful. I’m blessed. God has been good to me, in so many ways.
Maybe what’s happened the last month is that I’ve started to swing back into acceptance. Accepting that this is me, Cait the Warrior Princess, totally and permanently disabled, chronically and mentally ill me.
I’ve been stuck on the idea of work and how it makes me feel like a “contributing member of society.” I’m learning to redefine the concept of work. I’m learning to embrace the opportunities I’ve been given, the blessings I’ve received.
I put good into the world. I believe in putting out what you want to receive. I believe the universe connects people who need to be connected. I believe in energy and Karma. I believe in God. Why do any of those have to be mutually exclusive to each other?
I am me.
Nothing more, nothing less.