Coming Out

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It’s funny how we ‘hide’ certain aspects of our personalities or certain of our likes or dislikes in order to gain the acceptance of our circle of society.  We like to blend in and sometimes we place too much importance of being the ‘same’, choosing to suppress and deny the elements of ourselves that we feel aren’t going to make us more popular or acceptable.   We always talk about peer pressure in terms of teenagers but the reality is that adults are just as bad.  Too many of us will do anything to be ‘accepted’, we want to morph ourselves into clones of whatever social niche we’re trying to burrow into.  However this behaviour is rather shallow, sad and pointless.  To thine ownself be true.  And what good or value are ‘friends’ who won’t accept us for who we truly are?

After all we’re not talking about big fry.  Admittedly some of us may well have true skeletons in our cupboards, but most of the time they seem to do with some embarrassing incident from way back when rather than anything illegal or criminal.  We’re talking about the quirks that make us all the gloriously individual people that we are.  A liking for ballet or opera may not be ‘cool’ in some circles but is it really something to be mortified about and hide?  A preference for some inferior cheap plonk or a cheesy film?  Of course there are some more serious things, maybe a health condition.  Do we pretend that such issues don’t exist just to make it easier for those around us to accept us?

I’m proud to be a unique individual.  I value friendships but I’ll not do anything to fit into some particular circle.  I preach honesty and openness.  But there are things that I don’t talk about …

I keep quiet about my health, keep it under wraps and cover for my symptoms so that I often seem fit and well, able to join in with whatever’s going on.  Most of my friends don’t even realise that I’m ill.  I’m worried about being judged, I’m worried about missing out.  I definitely don’t want to make life hard for others either.

I have ME.  I’ve had it half my life now.  It’s something I’ve lived with all my adult life.  I keep it quiet because that’s how I was taught to deal with it, don’t make a fuss.  I guess also that because it’s one of those ‘invisible’ conditions it’s hard for people to deal with and people have lots of misconceptions and prejudices, like it’s something made up and I just need to pull myself together.

I have depression.  I’ve had it pretty much most of my life, at least two thirds of it.  My family still doesn’t seem to recognise or accept that I suffer with it (not my husband, he’s a brick).  As a result I wasn’t diagnosed for years and it was certainly something I wasn’t encouraged to talk about.  So I don’t.  I keep quiet and muddle through.

Those are my two skeletons.

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13 thoughts on “Coming Out

  1. Since you’ve dealt with this half your life probably you are familiar with the book, Darkness Visible by Styron. He writes openly and achingly about depression. I know your depression stems from your illness but if you haven’t read this, it might actually lift your spirit, as it offers hope that there might be a mean to an end, or at least relief. I’m glad for your husband, your brick.

    • My Depression actually predates the ME although living with that ‘wee’ problem does get me down. I actually have never heard of the book or the author, I look forward to checking it out. Thank you for sharing. :)

  2. This is so well written. It is clear and simple yet you talk about something sooooo many more people need to talk more about. And you do it without looking for sympathy, attention or anything beyond just wanting people to hear your story. Very well done.

  3. Here’s the thing: You have such a clear honest likable voice that you are exactly the person to air those skeletons. Not everyone has the gift of self-awareness or courage, but you do. There are others who are suffering in silence, and your words may help them. Good luck with your help and your writing. Glad to have found you at Write on Edge.

  4. We all have plenty of things we hide; that is one reason I started this blog – so I can talk to complete strangers about things that I am uncomfortable talking with family about. Not that that is better, but it is often easier.

  5. I wasn’t sure what M.E. was, so I did a google search. Is that like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? I am so sorry that you have daily struggles with your health. I think you should talk about it, for all kinds of reasons. To vent and get it out of yourself. When we hold things in they are like poison to our mental stability. Plus, you would be able to connect to others that have your same struggles and maybe help be a support to one another. I can’t imagine living with a life changing disease or illness and my heart goes out to you. Big hugs.

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