Looking for the Pat on the Back
My whole life I have looked for "the pat on the back". I wanted someone to tell me I was doing something right. I needed those words before I believed I was doing something wonderful, spectacular or amazing. I thought I needed someone's approval before moving ahead. The problem with this need, it kept me from moving forward because the whole time I was looking backwards, bumping into my past constantly. I don't know what it is about this Lyme journey, being a parent, or being in my thirties. This need of mine is shrinking, and I am being to realize I never needed anyone's approval. I only needed my own. I know some people call this confidence. I call it growing up. You gotta understand I've been sick for as long as I can remember. Since 8 years old or so I remember getting horrible nerve pain down my legs. I had was in and out of the hospital in my teens from asthma attacks. My health was a part of my feeling like I didn't belong. As an only child and part of a financially struggling family I knew we were different from a lot of families out there. Not all of those difference were bad. I learned from my parents the importance of getting good food from the local farmer, appreciating the hard work to grow a garden, loving people no matter their background or disability, the peace spirituality can bring, and the love of music. So what does this all have to do with looking for "approval" you might ask? I guess it has more to do with relationships than circumstances. I have been looking for one particular persons approval my whole life. I realize now I am not needing that anymore. I have found it within myself and through wonderful friends as I open up my heart. So much has just started to pour out of me. You see when you are so sick all the time you bottle up all the emotions you feel through the day just to survive. You get sick and tired of looking, feeling, and talking about your illness. So you pretend to be "normal" as best you can. Only problem is all the loss and frustration builds up along with any other baggage from your past. Eventually it ALL comes out. I don't think that's in the "how to suffer with illness" handbook. I didn't realize the loss that Lyme Disease can bring, would be compounded by all the loss I have felt throughout my life. And in spurts like these, days like these, after I have wrestled with how I really feel about a particular layer of hurt then I am able to get to a place of letting it go and heal some more. To purge the garbage of my past, and let the current good come in. I am making new memories to replace the old ones. I don't think I will ever get used to this being reborn process. I hate being sick and I hate Lyme Disease. But I am proud of the person it helped me to become. I am a growing photographer, song writer, mother, wife, person. I don't need someone to tell me that. I am moving forward one baby step at a time. And right now I am crying and smiling because I just don't feel like that wallflower little girl anymore. I feel more like a full grown woman inside and out. That makes me want to take more risks and live out my dreams. My body can fall apart all it wants to. But ME, I am gonna live and have fun the best I can. I like this feeling of peace. I hope it stays a while. I needed some of this today. I don't need someone's approval to be myself.