Each one of us has a life journey that is unique from everyone else. So it’s only logical that it’s not helpful to compare, experiences of the same condition can be wildly different.
For example, people can be have the same illness and yet have wildly different reactions and symptoms. This is why relying too much on other people’s experience isn’t recommended. I see it a lot in the various support groups. People share their bad experiences and fears. Some take that information to form their decision whether they are going to take the medication prescribed or suggested by their doctors. I always tell people no matter if my experience was positive or negative, it doesn’t mean that it will be the same for them.
Why join a support group?
Support groups bring together people who are going through or have gone through similar experiences. It’s just nice to know someone else is fighting similar inner demons and disabilities. These individuals understand you for yours too. Human connection is beautiful. This realization that you are not alone usually brings about a feeling of relief. We gain the understanding that others have similar concerns. Plus they are there to help and encourage you.
Why share your stories with strangers?
As an introvert, I’m not one to overwhelm people or create drama for the sake of being sociable. I tend to keep to myself until someone asks me how I’m doing. Depending on who asks, my response will either be “I’m fine.” or I will actually tell my story “in pieces” whenever possible. I do so simply because it’s too long a complicated to give the full story. I adapt my story, always being truthful, but only giving what the person who ask can take. So I share my story, but only the pieces the person sitting in front of me needs to hear at that moment. After all, it’s about them, not you.
I know that explaining my path through chronic illnesses, mental illnesses, parenting, careers and life in general can be a lot to process. Not everyone is ready, truly interested or able to take it all in.
I understand living with constant pain, migraines, digestion issues, crippling exhaustion, struggling to survive each day. I am living it every single day. I will live it for the rest of my life. Each day is a fight, but it’s a fight worth having.
I share my story in blog for awareness, for understanding, to show people that they aren’t alone in this and to share ideas and tips about making life easier. If being open on this blog and in person can help one more person feel less alone and more accepted then it’s all worth it.