I built my own Wall of China, you probably have one too.

When I first started my blog it was a page where I vented about my struggles. To put it in simple terms it was a place where I complained. I got tired of telling my story and people asking how I was so I just wrote updates on how I was doing health wise. Over the last 2 years it’s really turned into a place where I could express my feelings without verbally shouting them to someone I guess. It’s turned into a journal really, instead of venting it became a place of thought that wasn’t so geared towards the quality of health but rather my realizations and experiences along the way. It’s evolved a lot, and so have I.

I’ve tried to steer away from merely focusing my life on just being chronically ill, as of course it is a part of my life and contributes to who I am as a person but it really doesn’t define me at all. For so long I was so set on the fact that for as long as I had this condition it wouldn’t be possible for me to be the person I was before I got sick, and that set me up for so much unhappiness. You see I am a very outgoing person, I  love being in the company of others. When I got sick I built up walls and I put myself behind doors because I didn’t think I deserved to be the person I was before. Who would want to be friends with a sick kid? I stopped talking to people and came in contact with others as little as possible, because if I didn’t talk to them then I wouldn’t have to explain my situation. I shut out everyone. As I’ve watched other people go through similar situations I watch the exact same thing happen over and over again. People create an image in their mind that because there is something different about them, everyone else will perceive them as different. (This is really so wrong though because if you ask me it’s the normal people that are weird, who wants to be normal anyways?)

I can honestly say that this was the most detrimental part of being sick in my situation. When I shut people out I stopped doing things and when I stopped doing things my health declined. (An enormous part of staying as healthy as possible while living with POTS is staying active.) Very much similar to the way I tried to connect this to addiction in my last post. It seems I always take forever to get to the actual point of what I’m trying to say.

ANYWAYS the point is that I’ve learned about walls, and placing yourselves in them. Walls are strong, they’re not easy to break down but when you do you can see things again. I think in life we as humans tend to build walls around anything that scares us, makes us anxious, or causes us to question things. When we can’t see the “thing” behind the wall then we don’t have to address or face it. Eventually when you build walls you create your very own Wall of China and before you know it you’ve made history and blockaded a bunch of people from getting to you.  (That just might be the lamest historical reference I’ve ever come up with.)

I’ve started to knock down my walls lately and wow, it’s really hard. I have walls for miles and miles and it feels like it takes forever to get rid of just one brick. I’m not a big fan of sharing my struggles but if it means my Wall of China reference might make better sense to you then I’m all in:

– Accepting that despite being sick I am still the same Merideth I have always been

-Sometimes things are out of my control and I have to be okay with that

-Not everyone is going to understand or be accepting, you just have to move on

I know these are only three things but I’ve built so many walls around them it would probably look like a corn maze trying to show you how to get to the middle of it all. (Oh look, I’ve found myself rambling yet again.) I believe that at the end of the day everyone has the capability of knocking down their walls wether it be addiction, illness, grief, fear, insecurity, abuse, etc. This is a huge world and to one person something that seems small could be the very thing that keeps them from leaving their house everyday. I encourage you (and myself especially) to remember that we are all fragile and have unique feelings as well. Not everyone has the capability of overcoming things the way you do, or thinks like you do. Before we try to do what we think is knocking down someone else wall, we should realize that instead we could actually be building the wall thicker. Sometimes we have to knock down our own walls before we can begin to see and understand others. Walls only hold you back, and there isn’t a whole lot to see behind brick covered minds.

-The Queen of Wall building.

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