Who are you?
I’m not asking what you have, what you do, or anything like that. I’m just wondering who you are.
When you take away your pain, your illness, your career, and your accomplishments, what’s left?
I remember that when a new patient was admitted to the Chronic Pain and Recovery Center at Silver Hill Hospital we were asked to all share a little about ourselves. Each time the person would start with their name, maybe follow with where they were from or what they did for a living, and then they would get into the crux of it all: their medical history.
I see this pattern repeated when I interact with people from the chronic illness community, and I watch myself do it, too! I spit out diagnoses and surgeries like they’re who I am. Yes, they play a key role [for better or for worse] in shaping the person I am today, but they aren’t me.
So, here it goes. Hi, I’m Anne. I am a smart, capable woman and a fierce friend to those I let in. I’m compulsive but sometimes pretend not to be. I say what I’m thinking readily but rarely share how I feel. I offer advice too freely and listen to my own too seldom. I like to quote The Office and try to pass it off as original material.
It’s nice to meet you.