As a Disney lover, I have always loved Aladdin and the thought of a whole new world. In fact, I have the poster in my children’s playroom and I look at it often. In the picture, Aladdin is being someone that he’s not. He’s pretending to be someone that the princess would like. Or so he thought.
The ironic thing is that she already cared for the man he was and not who he pretended to be. So what better lesson to learn than to be who you truly are? Not who you want others to see you as.
I have always tried to stay true to myself but when it comes to my illness I hide a lot. Looking back, I’m not sure why. At what point did being in pain start to be a secret? Was it the years of being judged for missing events? The side comments on how it couldn’t be that bad? The way my exterior didn’t match my interior? I’m not sure.
What I’ve learned is that hiding who I am is part of the problem. If we are all pretending then how can we expect others to see the truth? I still have trouble when people ask me how I’m feeling. I’m grateful for the concern but my answer always seems like complaining and I hate that.
I am, however, more vocal about my illness. I’m not ashamed anymore. I’m still not sure why I ever was, but I don’t want to be anymore. I plan to continue with my blog in hopes to help. I hope to help other sufferers and non-suffers. The goal is to teach something and learn a lot for myself. A whole new world? That may be a bit dramatic. I’ll say it’s a step in a more open direction. A destigmatized and open world….