I was going to write a quick Instagram post on this feeling, but then I realized that it may be a little more deep-seeded than a quick blurb. I went to a show this weekend. Not a huge show. Just a rinky-dink bar show. A passion of mine is supporting the local music scene, and what better way than to attend shows. Also, a dear friend of mine that I do not see nearly enough invited me.
I’ll admit, I know I’ve been kind of a hermit the last few years. A lot has changed in my energy levels and health. If I’m being true to who I am, though, that person is not a hermit. So, even though it was nearing the end of the work-week (it was a Friday and my work-week ends on a Saturday) and the show didn’t start until 10pm, I went. The band was awesome, up-beat, and a lot of fun. I swayed and danced to the music like I normally do. One of the best ways to enjoy music is to get lost in it.
All of a sudden I noticed a deep, sharp pain in the bottom of my rib cage. Nothing strange or out of the ordinary, but still annoying. I kept dancing. Then I noticed my left knee had its usual pain. I kept dancing. Shortly after, the dull headache I had started to get worse. Normal, considering it was the end of the day. I kept dancing. My chronic back pain started flaring. I kept dancing. I started to get short of breath. I kept dancing. It was then I started to notice that my body was sore. There was a general pain that I couldn’t place. It was distracting me from the music.
I kept dancing.
Instead of continuing to dance to the music, I was now looking around at everyone else dancing. How easy and freeing they made it look. When did this pain start? Am I in pain? All this was normal, so I brushed it off until it was all stacked up. When did I start dancing to try to escape the pain and free myself instead of dancing to get lost in the music? I wanted to be free like all the others enjoying the music. Were they not in pain? Why was it so easy for them? I was jealous.
I thought this was an important moment to share because no one in that bar (besides my loving friend that understood when I needed to lean against the wall, then shortly after, go home because I just couldn’t stand any longer) knew that I am sick. That’s the thing about invisible illnesses. Life can look so easy from the outside. Yes, I was dancing. I was doing what everyone else was doing, but I was in pain. Of course I still had fun and enjoyed the music. I’m also super glad that I chose to go. There will always be moments when my cystic fibrosis reminds me of its unrelenting grip on my life. No, as you can see, it does not control me, but it’s always there.
P.S. I don’t have an image from the show to put in here because I didn’t know that I would be writing this post. In the moment (at the bar), I was having fun. I was enjoying my time. The fleeting thoughts that resonated with me on my drive home are what inspired this post. So don’t feel bad that I was in pain because it really didn’t bother me all that much. I think it’s just important to remember sometimes what it takes for a chronically ill person to get out of the house and have fun.