Feedback is a gift. It really is. And as per usual you always have two choices.
Reflect and agree or rag it off!
I recently spoke at an International Womens Day event and I spoke about my breaking of the bias in opting out of the “health care system” to pursue wellness in complimentary and alternative ways.
I told the story of me making the journey from being classified as “disabled” to being fighting fit and my desire to educate othere women that they can have any life that they choose. I shared some tips about how people could look after themselves just a little bit better.
On the whole the talk was well receive and I had lots of positive feedback. I also received 2 other pieces of feedback that I also took on board to reflect on.
One of the points that was raised was that I underplayed the reality of the symptoms of chronic illness. Now, I sat and really thought about it. They were absolutely spot on. I did. I do! There is a very clear reason for this.
As some of you will know, I lived with the very real and debilitating condition called Fibromyalgia. It is a widespread chronic pain condition coupled with extreme fatigue. That’s not just tired. That’s wading through treacle tired. The pain is excrutiating and debilitating. So, why don’t I keep talking about that?
The truth is, I spent 12 years living in this reality. It was a shit awful place to be and all of the “support” networks were echo chambers of doom. Everyone talking about just how bad it actually is. I get it! One of the reasons for this is that although there are 2.2 million people in the UK living with this condition, it is generally not well understood. It is currently not easy to diagnose. (Although I know that there is work ongoing to make this easier).
The people living with it feel like they are literally ill with a new symptom every single day and, they feel that they have to justify to people and employers that this is a real condition. Those living with it understand and there is comfort in knowing that there are others that understand you.
You get to choose
However, the energy of that environment is not a positive one and its not one that I wanted to be a part of. It did nothing to help me or my situation. In fact it just made me feel worse. So I chose to look at the positive ways that I could deal with it.
I worked, I researched, I did the trauma work, I cleansed my body and I got well. It does not serve me to spend time in that echo chamber. The words alone; pain; debilitated; excrutiating; fear; chronic…they do nothing to lift anyones mood or energy.
Try these words instead. Health, Vitality, Wellbeing, Energy, Happiness, Positivity, Hope…. they automatically have a positive physiological impact.
The point is. Those with Fibromyalgia need their energy to look after themselves. They should not have to explain to people what is wrong. The diagnosis should be enough. There is a big education piece that needs to continue and also positive support within the Fibro Warrior community that a positive mindset is also key.
I was grateful for the feedback and wrote a piece to explain my position. I make no apology for not giving space to the negative energy of the condition. For those living with the condition though, I do see you, hear you and understand you.
The second piece of feedback offered, was that I was a very uncomfortable watch!
I can’t change that. I am who I am and what I am.
I pull crystals out of my bra.
I am positive.
I share real life positive stories and I do so with honesty and integrity. I’m good with that.
Once again, grateful for that feedback, but chose to rag it off as it does not serve me in any way whatsoever.
Opinions are like arseholes. Every one has one. We may just not be enamored with the sound of all of them!
We have one life and always two choices. Each belong to you and you alone.
I’m good with mine