Some time ago, when I was but a young girl, I lost my faith in God, humanity (most of it anyways), and in this world every surviving. I learned as a little girl big churches are full of deceit, hypocrites, liars, cheaters, people pretending to be something they are not to save face among neighbors. This was not a religion nor community I wanted to be a part of. I stopped attending church as soon as the decision was mine to make. Before you think I need to be saved in this regard, I am not lost, I am solid in my core believes. I have maintained my own Spiritual concepts since then that I based my faith, and moral code in. These are the things that help shape me into the person I want to be.
Some time not too long ago I lost faith in myself. I was shaken to the core by a couple of medical diagnoses, and that triggered a process in which I felt like I lost myself. Actually more like I felt as though the old me died and I was being forced into being this new version of myself that I didn’t ask to be. I lost faith in my ability to adapt, in my ability to survive, in my ability to live under this new circumstance and expectations. Slowly I have been working through these complications. Someday my faith in myself will be as strong as it was before I got sick.
You see while I may not have the typical faith when it comes to religion, and at the moment my faith in myself is a little shaky, I’m not faithless, just a little jaded.
There was a time not too long ago I was at home in my body. I was confident, I felt proud of who I was as a person. I did not struggle with processing how others viewed me, nor did I care so much about how they viewed me. Body image was not a problem for me until a couple of years ago, now I can’t stop seeing the flaws, and it really cuts me deep when someone points something out. My soul feels trapped in a prison, rather than at home in this body. It’s like living in a foreign land, trying to learn a foreign language and all of the cultural beliefs, rules, and lifestyles. It is like figuring out a new normal, while having to accept your old life, the one that you loved, is gone forever.
Getting sick was not a choice I made, It was not something I asked for. When I first got sick, I had a friend very rudely asked me “Do you want to be sick?” This happened while I was trying to explain to her my concerns, my thoughts on what was going on and what my doctors suspected was happening. It hurt me deeply, I cried so hard day sitting in the restaurant with her. It ultimately was a turning point in our relationship and I put a lot of distance between us, and things will never be the same. That was the beginning of me questioning every relationship in my life, and how that person viewed me. I began being hypervigilant about what I said to people, and am still on edge about trusting people. (I have always had trust issues this just exacerbated them).
Getting sick also made me start looking at my flaws. First I questioned if I had done something to cause all of this. Then I questioned if it was the fact I was a little overweight. Then I started focusing on the fact that I had a rounder belly than the skinny girls, thighs that were bigger than a skinny girls. My hair wasn’t always perfect. My face is often red because of my butterfly rash. I have other rashes that affect other parts of my body. This ultimately made me wonder how other people saw my obviously broken body. I just felt (and sometimes still do) like I was completely broken by this, but I fight hard to regain the parts of me back that I can.
I have always been socially awkward. In the past I learned to deal with it and the small social anxiety was manageable. These days if my medication isn’t working properly or I am amidst a flare it is pretty intense. I have days where I feel trapped and I will just sit quietly if I don’t have the need to interact, being an introvert does not make this part of my prison any easier to deal with. This has been the single most isolating experience I have ever been through in my life, and it is hard once you feel isolated to remember to reach out to loved ones, and even the people you are paying to help you get through this. I do my best, and I’m getting better at that part. It is also hard to connect with people who haven’t experienced or been around someone with Chronic issues, they tend to look at you like you are talking crazy when you try to explain what your life is like. I’m still not sure how to deal with this part, other than just not talk about that topic much.
My hope is to one day have a soul that feels at home in my body again. I would like to be at home again.