“All people live in their own dream. In their own mind. They are in a completely different world from the one we live in.”
Excerpt from The Four Agreements
I spent most of my young years seeking the approval and acceptance of others. Whether I had fallen off of my bike or not I believe I would have sought the “love” from others as most people do in their younger years. This is very sad when I think back to the stress and sadness I felt at any and all rejection I received in my teen/early twenty years. Yes, I entered a public school after being in a private school my whole life in Seventh Grade which would be difficult for anyone. Add on half a shaved head, scars, and chronic pain and life can be a little scary and very lonely. I will never forget gym class and being made fun of because I could not play badminton well, or at all for that matter. I cannot count the number of times I pretended to be sick just to get out of class. I could have said: “I had brain surgery and now have chronic pain” but like many people I was ashamed and embarrassed. After pretending to have Mono, the flu, and I believe I said Lupus once the gym teacher realized I was full of crap and forced me to play badminton. It was awful. I came home crying daily because of chronic pain and badminton: most random mix, I know. My dad being my dad: also known as the greatest person in the world went out and bought a badminton net and set so I could learn this hated sport. Each morning I awoke an hour before I was supposed to for school and practiced badminton in my backyard with my dad. I got better but the teasing never stopped and to this day I despise badminton. I love sports more than the average thirty-four year old girl but badminton: augh. Please, just give me a tennis racket and a real ball. It is so beyond sad that I spent so much energy worrying about what other people thought of me. I learned at a very young age to never make fun of others or put people down. To say I am anti-bullying is an understatement. Words hurt no matter how old or young you are.
Here is what I know: anyone that puts you down or makes fun of you cannot possibly feel good about themselves. This is a fact. I know. I used to resent everyone I knew and loved because they did not have chronic pain. In my mind I would come up with things that were not true about others just to make myself feel better. I only did this because I hated my invisible illness and myself. The Jessica at the age of thirty-four feels absolutely no need to ever make other’s feel bad or think ugly thoughts about others. It happens from time to time if I feel hurt but then I remember that people who hurt one another are truly suffering and what they need most is forgiveness.
Most of you have an invisible illness and are in a state of self-hatred and your self-esteem is very low at the moment. You hate your illness, you hate that it is invisible and you are beginning to hate your life. I urge you to not allow other’s to make you feel worse than you already do. You will learn as you age that everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about and nothing said about you has anything to do with you. Everyone is in their own world, dealing with their own demons, chasing their own dreams. You matter. You are not alone and I beg you to not allow anyone to make you feel inferior without your consent. Focus on yourself. Until you find your own happiness and self love, it is going to be very difficult to love or care for anyone else. There is no one in the world as important as you are so please focus on yourself: some people may call that selfish but I believe that it is selfless.