The first day of a new semester. Michigan weather has caught me off guard yet again and as I am trying to make my way out of the driveway, my car gets stuck. This is not what I needed today. I woke up with some major pressure in my head, which is not my normal headache, so of course I head straight for the Sudafed. This is my go-to for head pressure, but what I didn’t think about was how groggy and awful it made me feel, granted it took the pain away. As I trudge through the snow in the parking lot after taking nearly forty-five minutes to get across town I huff and let out a sigh. I’m already defeated, and the bell hasn’t even rung yet.
As I make my way to my first hour class my head pressure comes back. I debate going to class, but since I really hate to miss the first day, I decide to tough it out. Let me just say, that was a bad call on my part. Today’s Chapel speaker talked about how secrets made us sick. You want to know what else is making me sick? POTS. Not secrets, my sickness is related to POTS. But the more I thought about it today, I realized something. I do keep my pain a secret. I don’t show defeat easily, and certainly not at school. I have always been this tough, hard to reach person, and I realized, that my secret pain, is making me emotionally sick. I am physically sick, but trying to stay tough on the outside and not let people see my pain is hurting me more than POTS ever could. I feel all the time as though nobody understands, that everyone is sick of me talking about how much pain I’m in, that in the end nobody really cares about me. And this attitude has left me keeping my secret pain from even the people I trust the most.
What I can conclude from this revelation is not that I should continually complain more about my pain. But that I should simply let my friends and loved ones know what I’m feeling. To not keep my pain bottled up inside where it hurts me from the inside out. Even if I don’t think they want to hear it, they need to know because I need those people in my life so that I can be honest with them about my pain, even if it’s just a brief, “hey, my pain level is pretty bad today, would you mind turning down the lights to let my eyes rest?” Instead of trying to do everything by myself, I need the people around me to help so that I can let my body rest the way it needs to.