A letter: For when you’re really hurting…
Feeling alone? Invisible?
I just wanted to let you know that I see you.
Your pain is real, and I see you. I know you’re hurting. And my heart hurts for you.
I can’t physically see you or feel your pain right now, but I think I have been down a similar road many times myself and I want you to know you are not alone. You are not the only one, even though some days it feels like you are. Many brave warriors have walked this path before you, and many will follow you.
You are not alone, brave one. You are seen. We stand together. We are a tribe of wounded warriors.
I acknowledge your pain. Whether its physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual pain… I know it’s real. I know you are struggling with it. And it’s OK. The struggle is really OK.
This might come as a shock to you, or maybe a breath of fresh air: it’s OK to feel sad. It’s OK to feel angry. It’s OK to feel however you feel. Emotions aren’t right or wrong, good or bad, they just are.
They just are.
So if you are feeling sad, angry, jealous, disappointed, hurt, ashamed, scared or you don’t know what you are feeling, it just sucks: please know that it is totally OK to feel like that right now. And last time. And next time.
I don’t want you to stay feeling those feelings forever, but whatever you are feeling right now, allow yourself to feel it just for a little while. Please don’t go deep down the rabbit hole (that will not be a good or helpful journey)…
Just sit with it, feel it, acknowledge the feeling and know it’s OK to feel it. It’s OK. You are OK. You’re not alone in this feeling, nor are you alone on this earth.
If you need to go hide under a blanket, or have a shower and have a big long cry, eat a block of chocolate or a tub of ice-cream. Do it. No judgement here. Feel your feelings for a little bit.
Just don’t get stuck there. This isn’t about indulging in a pity-party (at least not for too long) because that’s not going to get you far (but you know that already). This is about acknowledging your feelings. Taking the mask off just for a few minutes and being OK with what’s underneath. That’s a growth moment, not a pity-party.
Because if you are anything like lots of people I know with hypermobility, you are pretty good at pretending that you’re totally fine. That nothing is bothering you. That you are used to feeling like this. That you don’t get upset about pain, dislocations, cancelled plans, hospital visits, endless medical appointments. You like to make everyone believe that you’ve got this. And you know what – you do have it 99.9% of the time.
But you also need to have the space to lose it. Drop the mask. Lose your **** for a minute. I promise it’s OK. Because sometimes this condition sucks. Sometimes all you want to do is cry, or scream, or punch a pillow (not advisable!!!). And you know what: that’s NORMAL. That’s called being human. That’s called feeling and living. So feel it. Live it.But just for a little while.
And when you’re ready, re-emerge. Promise me, you will re-emerge (that pity party needs to end, ASAP). The world needs you, beautiful, brave soul.
And just remember: I see you. We are a tribe of wounded warriors. You don’t have to do this alone.
And if you need to talk to someone, if you feel stuck in the pity party, overwhelmed or alone please reach out to someone, even if it’s your local counselling phone line. In Australia, try Lifeline: 13 11 14 or you can online chat with them if it is late in the day/night.
Michelle is a Senior Occupational Therapist working solely with adults with hypermobility and related conditions. Michelle is the owner of Hypermobility Connect, an online platform for people with hypermobility to connect with resources, health professionals & each other. Michelle practices OT in her private practice and provides education to health professionals relating to hypermobility conditions.