So, the weather has been phenomenal in my area of the world – complete sarcasm, FYI – and Friday I managed to get well acquainted with the ground via a patch of ice. I was initially more embarrassed than anything, but soon realized that there was a more serious issue; an area at the top of my left ribcage was growing increasingly sore and uncomfortable. I had never broken or otherwise injured my ribs, but I surmised that this was what bruised ribs felt like, and even had the foresight to know that this was going to get worse before it got better.
Sure enough, I woke the next day able to feel exactly where my top rib began and ended without even touching the area – it was not a pleasant feeling, I assure you. I took it easy for the day, resting and icing it and taking Motrin to ease the discomfort.
I am by no means a weak person – emotionally, mentally or physically. I kind of pride myself in being tougher than most actually. I’m not foolish about medical care, but I am more on the stubborn side. I generally don’t see a doctor unless its an annual check up, or if I have exhausted all options of self care. Sunday had me in tears though. The pain was beyond anything I had felt since I was in the process of bringing Matt into the world, and I began to wonder if I had been mistaken – had I actually broken or cracked the rib?
I hobbled my way through showering and dressing and decided ultimately to get a professional opinion, after first beating myself up a little for not being able to handle the pain and discomfort. I couldn’t ignore it any longer though, it wasn’t in mine or my family’s best interest. I gave myself a pep talk, and I got my stubborn ass in the car and drove to the nearby urgent care.
Which promptly turned me away, the receptionist siting that the x ray machine was down. She suggested I visit another urgent care, but I didn’t want to drive any further than I already had. I went back to my car, feeling anxious and defeated and most definitely in pain.
I called Andy and vented my frustration, fighting to keep my composure and taking deep breaths to keep from sobbing. He patiently listened and didn’t judge, offered advice and even went so far as to offer to drive the near hour to my home to drive me to a different urgent care location.
Never once did he make me feel like what I was feeling or how I was reacting was foolish or weak. He figuratively patted my shoulder and accepted me as I was in that moment. He offered me the best thing he could, and that was his unwavering support when I was at my worst.
It made me realize the importance of who you surround yourself with. Who is in your circle? Who can you lean on when shit gets real? Who never makes you feel less, who never makes you feel like your feelings and needs aren’t valid? THIS is who you should keep in your circle.
You should not be made to feel ashamed of showing vulnerability or the fact that you are indeed a human being who feels and hurts sometimes. Regardless if you aren’t reacting in a way that they themselves would – how you feel, your pain tolerance or lack thereof, your ability to cope with whatever life throws at you . . . that is all you. You do not have to justify any of it to anyone. You do not have to live up to anyone’s standards or expectations but your own.
Anyone who is going to talk down to you or act as though they think less of you because you are being fucking human and showing human emotion. . . perhaps it’s time to limit their access to you. Because let’s be honest – who needs someone else telling you that you are less, or your feelings are too much? We do that enough to ourselves already, without someone else adding on their negativity.
By no means do I expect people to sugar coat anything. I want my friends to be real with me – but real is not harmful. Real is telling me that I deserve better than what I am currently allowing, not telling me I am in anyway wrong about how I feel or cope with life and the bullshit it throws at me. Being honest with a friend is different than being rude to a friend. A real friend is supportive and has your best interest at heart. Even if that best interest is listening to you cry and cuss because you’re in pain and can’t figure out how to fix the situation.
I have burned a lot of bridges in my lifetime And if I didn’t burn the bridge, I definitely limited access to my life for those that aren’t having a positive impact on my life. I don’t need validation for every move that I make, but I also will not tolerate rude and inconsiderate, either.
I’ve said it in so many different ways, but I’ll reiterate it here – check your circle. Limit access. Burn that bridge if it means bringing more peace to your life. Do no harm – but take no shit.
Happy Monday, and Happy Valentines Day – Love yourself enough to walk away from those who don’t have your best interest at heart and embrace those who do.