I have slowly but surely begun to come out of my shell of … some of it was self pity, most of it was self care. Regardless, I have been unclenching myself and allowing myself to be more open and honest with everyone around me about my difficulties.
Some days it’s harder than others.
Some people say “I can cure you, I promise!” and I ignore them, because there is no cure for fibromyalgia, generalised anxiety, and PTSD. There is only management.
Some of them look at me strangely. I am sharing too much of myself, and the honesty has made them uncomfortable. Even the superficial information makes them uncomfortable – I’d never want to see their faces if I were to describe anything in any detail or depth.
And then others say “I am walking the same path you are, and it sucks, and I am here for you”. They say “this is what I have found useful for me, it may be useful for you”. They say “I know what you feel”.
It is worth the other reactions to find the ones who understand, the ones who are going through something similar to what you are going through. Because you need people who understand you, and you need people you understand. Who speak your language and intimately know the trials you are going through. There is such compassion in those people.
But there’s another benefit to being open – you’re not bottling it all up. By letting it out, you’re owning your trauma and releasing it in some way. I’ve felt lighter since being more open about everything. It’s a relief.