I haven’t been hiding that the disease I am trying to manage right now (endometriosis) is both horrific and all-consuming and that I feel that is in fact quite literally killing me. I have had near-death experiences before and in April I did die for a time, or at least was closest to death than I ever was, being in a coma and consciously having to make the choice to stay alive. I didn’t choose to live because I felt I had to tie up loose ends. I chose to live because amindst all of the darkness, I was able to find hope that I could get effective treatment and live a life I wanted to live. That treatment is still far away even with the help I’ve been receiving and am very grateful for, and I may not get it before my insides are scarred beyond functioning or I develop serious heart problems or cancer. (That being said, I know I am being extremely annoying about this, but I am literally pleading for my life and trying to get the information out there to save others’ as well.) There are a lot of things I want to do and can’t, but I’m focused right now (and trying to stay focused) on what I can do.
Blogging has been helping me deal with this along with other issues, and I intend to start vlogging about endometriosis and my case specifically very soon. I will not let my suffering be meaningless when I have learned and experienced so much that can contribute to others getting help sooner.
Part of living the life I want to live is becoming who I want to be. I have many limitations right now of many varieties, but I can choose to continue working on myself, regardless of how little time I may or may not have left. Truthfully, I think that is the most honest motivation for this blog in particular. Helping others and advocacy are both integral to my soul’s survival, a huge part of who I want to become, and while this blog does not have a big reach and has probably not bettered anyone else’s life, it has helped me greatly, I have learned better to self-advocate, and so my entries here have bettered my own life, all of which have helped equip me with better skills and ability to reach out to others more effectively elsewhere.
Recovery is not a destination but a process.
This is, indeed, truly a recovery blog for me.
That being said, there are things I talk about here that I feel I need myself to embrace more fully. We are all hypocrites in one aspect of our lives or another, whether always or in certain instances, but hypocrisy is something I have been working very hard for years to get out of my system. I know it will never be 100% out. I am human. I am fallible. But I am human, which means I also have a great capacity to change and take charge of my own behavior.
I want to address today something that for a long time I let keep me very sick, emotionally; that as recently as maybe a week or two ago, I referred to as “not deserving of recognition.” I honestly don’t think about it much anymore, even in my darkest hours; and that is good and actually says a lot about how far I’ve come. I thought burying it in my past was the best thing to do; distancing myself from it completely. But I was a part of it (although not feeling that way) for 10 years, and it became an integral part of me, as well. It’s unwise to forget where you came from, and while staying there is often unhealthy, trying to erase it can sometimes be worse.
I’m talking about my hometown. I used to capitalize everything but the “h,” a testiment to how outcasted I felt there. But I lived there for a decade, and everything that happened there contributed to who I am today.
A little bit about it: It is a small town in western Pennsylvania that to this day I still believe is mightily affected by mercury pollution. I maintain to this day I was the town’s go-to scapegoat, but I know now towns like that breed plenty despite their small size. I know I am not the only one who went through hell there. And I know also that I am one of the few who did go through hell there that escaped. The town was actually often likened to a “black hole,” because of how often people would return, for whatever reason. And then stayed, even if they hated being there too.
I am ready to return momentarily and speak my truth. It has been another 10 years, and people are going to wonder why the hell I’m saying anything now. But why am I now? Because I am ready to.
It is unlikely that anyone who played a negative role in my past is looking for me anymore or even cares one way or the other that I still exist. There is one person who was persistent about it and messaged me again last year, but I suspect after our last exchange, she has realized I’ve given up her power over me: I honestly and coolly reminded her that her power over me was not real the moment I decided to not let it be. I have not heard from her again. As well-said by a friend of mine, “To stop letting someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder win is to stop participating in their game.”
That being said, I don’t really think I’m opening a can of worms with this. I long felt ashamed by my self-perceived failures: how I didn’t go to college or even graduate, how I am disabled by my illness(es) right now and have been since, honestly, about age 12 or 13. I felt ashamed for not living on my own yet or completing other life’s popularly celebrated milestones and felt that I would be reduced to that same “pathetic freak” they said I was when I lived there. Going back just to visit has been an overwhelmingly triggering experience, and I eventually decided to stop entirely. My best interpersonal relationship I had in that town was eventually completely and brutally decimated and as much as I’d like to blame people’s ugly perceptions of me and malintent, I know I greatly contributed to that damage, as well.
But I’ve learned to love myself, and ultimately, there is no erasing one’s own history. I can deny where I grew up, but it won’t make that town or what happened there disappear. I am sure none of the people there who deeply hurt me think about me at all anymore. But I do know some people there have thought about me, some truly good and decent people, who I myself have not been appropriately respectful to because of how badly I have managed my traumas. I cannot mend the relatoinship I had with the person who loved me most there. It was long-ruined even before it ended completely. But there are things that still need to be said. At the very least, thank-yous and apologies that I need to give. Kind sentiments should not go to waste.
We all go to the grave unfinished. There is no such thing as a truly finished person, no such thing as perfection or true objectivity. But I am not held captive anymore by my own BS and I want to continue freeing myself from the limitations I can right now free myself from. That continues with my attitude towards that small town; my freedom continues today.