On the rare occasions I get out and talk to someone who isn’t a blood relative or a health care professional, I hear three things all the time:

  • You’re such a strong woman
  • You’re an inspiration
  • You’re an angel on earth

I’m not an angel on earth. I didn’t decide to do this, the situation unfolded around me and my choices were to either assume a new identity and start over or deal with it. So I dealt with it.

I’m not some sort of extra-special person who was put here to take care of everyone else and not need anything for myself. I’m not any stronger than you, I just don’t have the opportunity to let my guard down or relax. When you have no choices, you figure it out.

Saying I’m inspiring or strong or an angel is a way to suggest I’m some other type of being who can do it all. I’m not. I’m exhausted and frustrated and sick of it all.

When you find yourself about to call someone an angel, remember they’re not.

This isn’t what we want to hear. I don’t want a pat on the back.

If you’re feeling so inspired, offer to help.

H.U.

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