Wednesday 6 May 2015

Maybe someday this pain will be useful.

A photo posted by Michelle Roger (@michelle_roger) on

A while back I found myself running (okay lurching and stumbling, grabbing walls and chairs) into my bedroom to grab a post it and a pencil. I had an overwhelming need to write down a quick quote:

"Maybe someday this pain will be useful"

It comes from the video below by Jennifer Pastiloff (I also like her "I will not hide my shit nor will I hide my magnificence." No one should ever have to hide themselves.) A fellow blogger and all round awesome person Chris from pixie.c.d. had shared it on her timeline. In my morning pre-coffee haze I slumped on the couch and pressed play. I've never heard of Jennifer Pastiloff before, and she's a little full on for my laid back Aussie sensibilities, but there were moments in the video where I thought, "sing it sister." 

Maybe someday this pain will be useful.

I'm not one for the woo woo inspirational stuff. The vast majority of which I find superficial, unattainable, nails on a chalkboard. (This of course could partly be attributed to the sheer volume of perky memes I've been sent since I became ill. Just so folk know "Healthy mind, healthy body" is not the kind of meme you should send someone with a progressive genetic condition. You may be sent a sarcastic naked mole rat pic or something similar if you do.) But this one line stood out as I was watching.

What if everything I go through, all the shit, all the pain and the fear and the disappointment and frustration, all of it, is useful?

I don't go in for the everything has meaning line. Or that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes shit happens. No rhyme. No reason. It just happens. But I do sometimes think we can choose to find a use for what happens. And in a sense I think this is where blogging and writing fit.

While I would gladly have a do over for the last 8 nearly 9 years, or take a miracle cure like that! There has been good in there. I have met some of the most amazing people I now call friend thanks to this defunct body of mine. In particular, I met my best friend Kerri for who I will forever be grateful. But beyond that, in expressing my journey (there has to be a better word, the whole journey has been coopted by a lot of woo woo, but its all I can think of at this hour) it has given a voice and safe space to others.

In sharing the changes with my body and the way I feel about it warts and all, it has allowed others to express their own experiences, or simply feel not alone. The power of not feeling alone is incredible. It normalises an incredibly abnormal experience. It's a soothing balm for the spirit and relieves a burden whose bulk you often don't realise until it is gone.

In sharing the hurts, tears and doubts it lets others also express their own pain. A pain that is often hidden behind the permanently perky mind set that says you must always put on a brave face. And should you dare to say "it's hard" there is always someone who'll pipe up with a quick "well at least it's not...." or "it could be worse" to silence the speaker lest they make them feel uncomfortable.

In sharing the small victories and the laughs it lets others know that they too can have those victories and joys. In being ridiculous in the face of illness it can give others permission to also be ridiculous (a necessity to survive this life.)

All of this pain, all of the vomit and the medications and procedures and frustrations are worth it if in the sharing it can help one other person in some corner of the world.

Maybe someday this pain will be useful.

Maybe it already is.


I will not hide my shit nor will I hide my magnificence. What are you hiding about yourself? Are you willing to be vulnerable? Quite often it's the things we try and hide that draw people to us. Are you afraid of "being found out"? Post all your thoughts below and feel free to share.I love you. You're enough.Xo
Posted by Jennifer Pastiloff on Friday, 17 April 2015

1 comment:

  1. Michelle,
    I've been following your trek (a much better descriptive word IMHO) through medical hell. You have inspired me many times, however not to the level of this entry. I needed to read your words tonight. Thank you for being so open and honest. My trek is different, but invisible none the less. I look forward to your blog and have been sending you sunny days and unicorns from Pennsylvania. Take care!



All who are lovely enough to comment should be showered with cup cakes, glitter and macarons. I promise to use my spoon bending mind powers to try and get that happening for all who are lovely enough to share their words. Those who go the extra step to share posts should really get a free unicorn. Or at least the gift of finding the shortest and quickest line at the supermarket on a regular basis. xx

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