There was a long period of time after Rowan was diagnosed that I wore the “Mom of a kid with a progressive, degenerative, terminal disease” – like a cape – like a big blanket of martyrdom wrapped around me for the whole world to see…. I didn’t want to be a martyr though – that wasn’t my intention.
Often, when I would meet someone new I would let them know right away that Rowan had Cystic Fibrosis. I questioned my intentions; I would often say it and then be embarrassed because sometimes I would slip it in there kind of awkwardly, kind of out of context. I would beat myself up about it – criticize myself and wonder if I was being an attention whore.
Now, once again – retrospect and perspective have me begging my past self for forgiveness. Why was I so hard on myself? Why did I loathe the fact that I was hurting. I wasn’t seeking attention. Not at all. I was so bruised and battered and heart-broken – so FAR from the woman that I am at the core of my being – I felt the need to keep explaining to the world why I was different; why I didn’t always seem happy. I wanted to let people know that I was going through a painful time before they had a chance to judge me.
In the Fall, I met this woman and we had a wonderful conversation. I walked away from meeting her and I wondered why I felt different and then I realized. I had not told her that Rowan has Cystic Fibrosis. It was a shift-moment for me, a game-changer… I was thrilled that seemingly overnight my same old sad story had faded way to make room for my story of resilience and grace.
Are you telling a sad story? Do you think it might be time to stop? Don’t beat yourself up about it but do consider that maybe wearing all of your shit around your neck might be weighing you down. Telling your same sad story might be signalling the Universe to keep sending you sad stories; “Well, look she seems to really like to talk about those sad stories so I guess I’ll send her another”…
Try to be aware of it. Try to meet someone without telling your sad story. Try to tell someone why your life is awesome and why you are blessed beyond imagination. Try to remember that the only person in the driver’s seat of your life is YOU. No one is going to ride up on a white horse and take your sad story away…. That’s up to you.
Change your story.