I think most people who have gone through something traumatic and/or impactful in their life can agree that the eagerness to want to share their testimony is inevitable. Sometime we bring it upon ourselves, case in point, me digging through my folder titled “sick pix” on my laptop.
My coworkers and I were having an open discussion about our individual acne issues, and I immediately began rummaging my archives for photographic proof of the craters that used to occupy my face in my high steroid dosage days. Little by little they trickled behind my back to look on as I pulled up the images.
Instantly I regretted trying to be a part of the conversation, for the simple fact that my acne pictures were all easily overshadowed by the dozens of other clear problems I was suffering from. My “sick pix” folder became my gift and my curse at that moment. I opted to turn around the conversation once I felt hands rubbing my left shoulder in a circular, comforting motion.
“See my dark spots right there?” I zoomed in and pointed to the screen., But still, everyone was no longer focusing on my blemishes. Now this was a pity party by default. Not that I had even planned on it or was ready for it. But it turned into one, and I had to regain the steering wheel.
A few years of learning to adapt, cope, and even embrace my illness don’t necessarily mean everyone else around me has learned to do the same. And I completely respect that. After all, the day that anyone close to me forgets that I have a chronic illness I will essentially start shunning them out. Straight like that.
It’s not easy to keep a straight face once the conversation takes a nosedive from light laughter and smiles to solemnity and awkward “I don’t know if I should be smiling for you or sad” facial expressions. I’m pretty sure during these types of interactions with people I start giving off straight face realness.
But if there is anything I’ve learned is that, it’s impossible to run away from a situation that others associate you with. Like I said earlier, I have taught myself (and really, God has taught me) to sort of embrace my illness and trauma as an intricate, beautifully unique puzzle piece of my bigger picture.
Doctors tell my “case is complex.” God tells me my testimony is meaningful. I’ll roll with that.