Its Ok to Be Upset
By Megan | @MKingston47 | January 7, 2018
Its Ok to Be Upset
In the world of chronic illness and life, there are countless times we are told that a disease is in our head, or that we shouldn’t be upset about the pain, or the loss of a lifestyle is directly related to the notion that the chronic illness that we are suffering from is not manifested in “observable” fashion. But that does not mean that we cannot show emotion, pain, fear, anxiety, or a host of other psychological stressors because we are not well or because people have yet to understand that chronic illnesses can be invisible and unseen to the eye.
I can recall on multiple occasions, prior to having a diagnosis, that doctors would look down on me or feel that there was nothing wrong with me. I was told by countless doctors to seek psychological help (mind you I am a Psychologist), that the symptoms were in my head or a manifestation of anxiety related issues. I was even told by a surgeon that a biopsy is too risky to do as exploratory to diagnosis a lung disease, but it is perfectly safe to do once it was diagnosed? The world of medicine is so complicated that, being anxious just going to the doctor should seem normal for the person with chronic illness. It took almost two years to diagnosis what I have, and by the time that we got the answer, it was already too late and the symptoms have gotten worse.
But in all of this agony the struggle to find answers, the loss of a job, and the loss of a particularly good lifestyle, one must wonder, how much can the mind take before it decides enough is enough? When can we express these pent-up emotions? Is it right to feel these hardships in ways that others, outside of the chronic illness community, just don’t understand? The answer is, yes, it is perfectly ok to be upset, to see the situation for what it is, and to just break down from fighting so hard for so long. It is not a show of weakness but rather the strength that is needed to go from doctor to doctor, continue to get the same responses until one day you get the relief you are looking for, an answer to the question that plagues all chronic illness warriors, what do I have wrong with me that is not in my head.
We take it one day at a time but showing that we are upset is not the issue. As we continue to fight, day in and day out, we know the pain, we know the agony, we know there is an issue, and yet, we enter the day with another smile on our face and our emotions in a box. Don’t feel that we must always remain so strong in the face of this evil, we don’t. Our emotions of distress, upset, and distaste for this new life is normal. Yes, I said these emotions are normal, and should be treated as such. So why do we feel so dejected to show our stress, pain, and hardship from time to time? Do we feel that our chronic illness is the direct cause to who we are? Our illness prevents us from being sad? Or is it the stigma that being chronically ill all the time, we must remain strong for others to be accepted as one of the group?
What I say to this is F that noise and just be you. Don’t fear showing your emotions for they are complicated, flexible, and strong. Do not fear what others think about your crying because they do not see the daily fight or struggle. Do not fear the judgments of others when you know deep down something is not right. And most importantly, do not be afraid to release this tension. We are all only human, and we can only handle so much at one point. Thus, what I am trying to say is this, it is perfectly fine to be upset. You did not ask to be sick, or for this particular life, but it is what has been handed to you. You have the strength to continue to fight and the strength to have a good cry when you need it. It is normal to feel stress, anxiety, depression, and other psychological stressors when you are sick. So, don’t feel ashamed to reflect on the past, but remember to always look toward a brighter future.
You are not alone in this fight, and you never will be, there are a lot of people in this world that are going through the same times as you, but here is another bit of key advice, do not compare your illness to another’s. We are all unique, we all feel different things, and emotion is not our weakness, but rather, our strength to continue to wake up every day and fight harder. Remember, you are stronger than you think and smarter than you look. We are all in this together.
Megan is 31 years old, who has a passion for photography and music, and is finishing her Doctorate in Clinical Neuropsychology with a focus on prescribing. Currently she has her Masters degree in the field but don't let that fool you, she is down to earth and just loves to have a good time. She currently suffers from a rare form of pulmonary fibrosis known as Obliterative Bronchiolitis and is dependent on oxygen 24/7 but that hasn't slowed her down any. In her free time, she still rides her motorcycle, snowboards, and takes photos.
YouTube at www.youtube.com/operationbreathe