Let me tell you a story. It’s about a girl. (Let’s be honest, all the best stories are). Settle in, and if you are comfortable I’ll begin. Ok so this is the story of a girl, let’s call her Kathleen because that’s her name, who found herself at a bit of a crossroads. She was in love with a man but didn’t quite know it, she was afraid to hurt someone she did know she loved by admitting this – she was afraid to make the wrong choice and hurt people she loved. She chose love. She still chooses her love, every-day, 10 years later. She took a chance on someone and something and didn’t realise at the time that she was being brave. She is still being ‘brave’, 10 years later.
Isn’t that nice? Love is great eh?
Love aside, life at its core is about choices. And kittens of course. My ‘story’ is easily romanticised isn’t it? I left a man and an unhappy relationship for another, finding out I was in love with someone once a friend and letting myself be swept up in a beautiful blanket of adoration. In reality I just met someone else, ended a relationship and started a new one. It happens every day. People are hurt by other people and people fall in and out of love every day, isn’t that incredible? No not really, it’s human nature.
But my ‘story’ isn’t uncommon, it’s quite the opposite. As I’ve shown it’s easy for me to glamourize my love life for the sake of a few electronic thumbs up from abject strangers. It’s easy to do that and ignore the fact that the last 10 years have also been the hardest of my life.
I’ve been suffering from a chronic and incurable condition, I’ve been diagnosed with a million and one off-shoots of this and I’ve struggled with severe anxiety and depression.
I don’t mention this for sympathy – I mention this for clarification. To serve as a reminder that life is much more that what you allow to be seen. Everyone is dealing with something they would perhaps rather not talk about. That’s fine, and entirely their right. Private life should be just that, private. I talk about my illness a lot. But then you knew that. I don’t talk about my relationship a lot because my partner doesn’t write a blog, I do. I respect him and our life together and know that talking openly about my own health is my choice, not his.
The point I am trying to make is that life is about more than what you choose to tell the outside world. It’s important we take that into account when we judge others and decide on how best to advise someone on anything. We don’t know the full story. The minute I mention my disease I am continually met with a barrage of ‘you should try...’ or ‘if you just…’ or ‘well I have IBS...’ from people who know next to nothing about my life. I have an invisible illness and choose to keep it invisible a lot of the time – again MY choice. I talk about it here for me and hopefully for you, but it doesn’t consume me. It isn’t ME. I’m the girl in the story who fell in love with the man – I just have some defunct insides too.
Your story is yours and yours alone, what you choose to tell is up to you. However if you have a kitten I’ll require regular and in-depth updates attached to a PowerPoint presentation.