A couple of weeks ago I became a support leader for the Los Angeles area. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Often, with this condition, I feel alone. But sadly, I am not. There are countless women that experience the same feelings I feel every day, and I meet new ones almost every week.
A part of me finds comfort in this, knowing that I am not alone. But another part of me feels dejected and hopeless knowing that so many women have to experience what I experience every single day.
As the support group got going, I began to talk to several women. Some had hope, some had success stories, but most were close to giving up.
As much as I like to think I’ve made progress both physically and emotionally, I have such a long way to go.
I was starting to feel the cloud creep back into my life. This cloud was constantly raining for the last year, but in the last couple of months it had eased up.
As the cloud came back, I knew it was time to head home.
On Friday, I got to Indiana with my closest friend, Noel. I felt humidity, remembered what it did to my hair, then tried to forget what it did to my hair immediately. I saw my parents, my cats, my childhood bedroom, my old head gear (FML), and tried to ignore the cloud.
My mother, being the wonderful mother that she is, is always trying to make me feel better. She had a friend over to work on some cranial therapy. Basically, she was rubbing my head. It’s obviously more technical than that but no one ever claimed I was smart about these things.
I was lying there, trying to think about anything other than my illness, when she suddenly took my hand and said, “Lara, you are lovable.”
I don’t consider myself to be a religious person. I mean, yeah, I grew up going to church. I get the concept, I understand the want. But it’s not for me. And I’m pretty sure it never will be.
But in that moment, I was kinda like…holy shit. I mean, call it what you want. The universe, a bigger force, I don’t care. It was just exactly what I needed to hear in that exact moment and whatever is responsible for that is fine with me.
When I talk to women in my support group, or through the internet, or on twitter, I always have hope for them. I truly believe that they can and will get better. I believe that they are going to find someone willing to work with them through this, and that this is only the beginning.
But I find it pretty difficult to do that for myself.
When we are little, we’re taught to treat others how we want to be treated. But these days, I’m working in reverse. I’m trying to treat myself the way I treat others.
I have to be nice to myself and believe in myself and allow myself to heal.
And as I heal, it won’t mean that the damage no longer exists. It just means that the damage no longer controls my life.