With any chronic illness, courage is a necessity. When we need it most, it feels like its least available.
I've been going through a very good patch vis-a-vis courage. My hopes and my determination have been high.
Then I had a funky couple of days with pain I'd describe as low-grade... until I realised that it was taking 2 Mersyndol Forte tablets to keep it under control. Think of a migraine... in your leg. It was combined with flu-like symptoms (muscle ache, fatigue, fever) on top of a head cold. Yummy (not).
What do I need my courage for? For keeping feeling like "me" when I feel like crap. It's so easy to distance myself from my pain or discomfort or illness by saying, effectively, "this is not me, I am not this...thing."
When I feel that rejection in myself, I see it in EVERYONE else.
Objectively, some of that rejection is there, from some folks, some of the time. It only stings when it backs up what I - or my inner critic - is saying.
Today, immediately after a discussion about how my rehab exercises were going, during which Mr Physio approved my approach over the past week, he began to do some deep tissue work. When I started to get reflux and my eyes teared up, I told him it was too much and asked him to ease off. He did, but said (lightly), "You ARE a delicate petal, aren't you, moocow".
I didn't know how to respond so I just ignored it.
Not in a "wow, you meant to say I have very active trigger points in that muscle group and it soooo came out wrong" kind of way.
Or even a, "what a putz are you - where did you leave your bedside manner this morning?"
Or even a straight: "What did you mean by that?"
More in a "think I'll stress about this unconsciously for the next couple of hours" kind of way.
Why do I care? I care because I took his meaning to be supportive of my own damn internal dialogue. The one that whispers I'm feeble and useless and this is all just in my head - despite any amount of clinical evidence to the contrary. The insidious voices are always ready to tear me down.
I need my courage to be myself. To remain authentic in the face of the inner whisper. Then I can be real with the rest of the world too. Because I always have a choice in how I can react, but when people press our buttons (accidentally or on purpose) it doesn't feel like we have a choice.