Today’s focus is on labels. Now, just in case you think you may have inadvertently stumbled onto a sartorially savvy fashionista site by mistake – and are hastily checking your clothing/bags/items in general for their worthiness or otherwise – let me hasten to reassure you it’s not those sort of labels I have in mind.
Though society is always trying to pigeon-hole us in terms of what we wear, or by our appearance, actions, words and deeds. It can become very wearying trying to figure out just what we might be representing by such things.
Believe it or not, it was especially difficult to admit to being an M.E sufferer – mainly because I have tried for many years not to let the fact that I have M.E define who I am. It was already a creeping, invasive leach on my energy and strength, sapper of life and stealer of dreams.
Why should I allow it to steal my identity as well? But now, I am glad I was persuaded to add it to the picture because it has opened a door for expressing the side of me as someone who has Chronic Illness and is living and thriving despite and (more bizarrely perhaps) because of it.
In having M.E I am well placed to describe its effects, discuss its limitations, sympathise and empathise with other sufferers – and ‘trace the rainbow through the rain’ in terms of coping with it.
There are certain shared cardinal symptoms for all sufferers, but each person’s journey is different and the experience of living with and dealing with it will be their own.
In my poetry and in this blog I am endeavouring to share myself, aiming to connect, enlighten, inform and hopefully reveal the unexpected fruit of creativity that being virtually housebound has unleashed in me – and which I now unleash on you, ‘Dear Reader’ (or ‘Accidental Tourist’ here perhaps – and very welcome all the same!) Whoops, I’m at it too. Labelling you already – sorry.
If I was being pigeon-holed and put into a box by others then I would want it to be like this picture.
That is not to say we consider ourselves too delicate, weak or fragile to be given due consideration or respect. Being spoken to or treated condescendingly is never a good thing. It’s the ‘handle with care’ aspect that is applicable to us all in terms of being non-judgemental and accepting of one another.
Yet so many of us have been given labels we neither want nor deserve or we pin them on ourselves to explain to others what we feel we are or what we have done.
Looking back at my own ‘profile’ a few months down the line I wonder if it still fits me? Generally speaking, yes.
Yet the full essence of who I am is not caught in a few words, any more than is true for you. Some days various facets of my life and personality demand priority.
In an effort to respect this (and avoid the label of ‘predictable’) I am spreading out my interests. So you may visit this blog and find just the poet in residence, the communicator, deep thinker and reflector, a person keen to share her spiritual journey, or an M.E sufferer touching base with you.
Whatever it may be, I am still being true to myself and will be encouraging you to keep it real too.
Perhaps you are fighting to get rid of a ‘label’ – self-imposed or otherwise – or really want to gain a new one? Please feel free to share your thoughts here.