Editor’s Note: The writer has a chronic illness that is eased by the benefits of medical marijuana use.
When someone gets injured and breaks a bone they are usually asked the same questions from people until they are healed. How did it happen? Where and when? What was the pain like? And how long is the healing process?
When I was diagnosed with a chronic stomach condition and the subject came up in conversation, I noticed how awkward people felt with my words and they would say “I’m so sorry”, but never ask any questions. The interactions I had with people immediately following my diagnosis quickly made me ashamed of my condition, and I didn’t want to talk about it. I felt so much pity coming from others that I mentally made myself sicker. I didn’t want sympathy from people, I wanted people to understand.
If I wanted people to understand, then I needed to understand. How could I possibly want people to ask me questions when I had so many myself that hadn’t been answered. So, I started to educate myself on what Gastroparesis is, why I have it, and how can I manage it. I became my own advocate, I stopped taking prescription pills and following the recommended diet and I slowly started to answer my questions.
I believe that we move energies in and out of our lives by talking about them, allowing ourselves to release a part of what we hold on to. If I still relied on the Dr. for answers to my own body, I think I would be much sicker than I am today. Part of the healing process is asking and answering questions. And after being silent for so long I realized that sometimes all people want to talk about is what no one asks them about. Help people heal. Ask questions to sick people, listen to their answers, and spread awareness for invisible illnesses.