We forget who we really are beneath our illness… often only seeing the ugliness that our illness imparts on our very being. When I look into the mirror, I don’t think “Wow, I look great today.” or “I really am as beautiful as I’ve been told.” Haha. No, not even close! Those thoughts have never crossed my mind, nor of course, my lips. But there was a time in my life that people only viewed me from the outside, rarely taking a moment to find out whom I may truly be, on the inside. Only commenting on my looks; since they’ve judged the cover, and merely peeked at the pages in between. Leaving me to go the full distance to show them the “MJ” in whole. That’s not entirely different from now I guess… only they cannot see my illness (no matter the detail I’ve given); simply the cover (which is our shield) my “Smile.” We can’t help ourselves. When we’re around others, we hide behind it as quickly as possible.
It’s quite the opposite of what we see in the mirror. The pages are always carelessly spilling out from underneath, reflecting our pain, cognitive issues, and sleepless nights… We no longer see our “cover.” And if you’re anything like me? You’ve discussed Fibro and all if its counterparts, until you’re without breath! So all others see now, is a Big Purple Fibro Ribbon waking around. Seriously! In my effort to spread awareness, my friends, and most notably my improv family (because I see them regularly on Monday’s and during monthly shows), usually refer to me in relation to Fibro. It’s all in good fun mind you, and I don’t find it unsavory at all. But I’ve become cognizant of the possibility that maybe, just maybe… people are not seeing the strong, intelligent, compliment appreciating woman, that’s carrying that heavy ass ribbon around!
My Love tells me how proud he is of me, how my blogs are impressive (yes, I’m aware he could be embellishing a bit *blush*), and that I’m beautiful; even though on most days I’m sans make-up. The love and support is immeasurably appreciated. He is the one that champions me to show my sexy side, only I’ve forgotten what that is? I cover up more often than not, for sun safety of course, but also to be taken more seriously, and not seen for only my curves. Fibro is serious business. But in accomplishing all of that, “Am I sending the wrong message?” That our bodies are meant to be hidden and not appreciated, and what we are to perceive as beautiful, is the airbrushed, picture perfect models on magazine covers, and the fit actors on popular tv/movies. That our intelligence is written down in scripts for us to simply parrot back as if it’s our own, or that our strength is merely perceived as an illusion, while we lift those paper mâché boulders over our heads. Our society is improving however, as we are beginning to see more and more… the curvy, clever, and wonderfully empowered people, that deserve to be complimented and appreciated as well.
So here I am… in a bikini pic My Love took (below). I’m in the shade of course (diag. w/skin cancer 5yrs ago), exposing myself a bit more than usual. I am not perfect, but I am me! Loved just the way I am. So please embrace yourselves, and don’t allow Fibro to define you! Show off your attributes! I’d share an MRI picture of my brain instead, but that might get lost in translation, hee hee.
All of us! Man, woman, and child… have brains, braun, and beauty. We are empathetic, worthy, humorous, involved, useful, productive, creative, generous, supportive, listeners, kind, loving, independence, strength, and togetherness. We are a lovely mosaic of warriors that have been broken, yet were able to create a more resilient bond, that only we can comprehend.
A special “Thank you” goes out to my Fibro Warrior friends, for responding to my DF post and sharing your attributes with me! Linda S., Tina H., Rachel W., Phroncheska T., Maribeth R., Charlotte B., Tricia W., Christine K., Julie W., Mitzi M.B., Nancy S., Marla L., Debbie J.D., and Shannon K. Apologies if I missed anyone 😊
Thank you all for your love and support!
You are not alone… and neither am I!
Me vs the “perfect” model/actor