Why You Should Be Honest About Your Health Issues
So many of us hide our health issues — I know I did for years. All through high school, my teachers and peers thought I was a slacker for skipping school and a thug for fighting and getting suspended all the time. Nobody ever bothered to figure out why I did those things, why I was so angry and sad all the time and why I couldn’t look anyone in the eye (due to my anxiety).
However, I suppose I can’t really blame them. I mean, how can I, right? I was the one who never said anything to counselors, teachers or even a friend. It took me years until I finally came forward about my illness.
Last year, I had just gotten back to school after being away for dealing with my illness. I thought I was ready, but I kept getting hospitalized. I was supposed to be the group leader for a big project in my English class, which was a fairly hard course. I was also working full time in real estate for about 60 to 70 hours a week, but it was worth it. I kept straight A’s and sold two houses in three months. However, I couldn’t have done so without a friend finding out about my illness.
I had been hospitalized for the fourth time that quarter, and apparently my group was doing a group vote to decide whether to drop me for not pulling my weight. (They had already voted me out as the leader due to the fact I had missed so much school.)
Luckily, my friend in the group told them I was in the emergency room, and she even showed them a picture. When I returned, the new group leader apologized for not understanding what I was going through, and he wished I’d been more comfortable about being honest with him. He told me to keep the group updated about my health, and they would “cover my back” regardless of missing school because they now understood I wasn’t slacking. What I was dealing with was serious and real. I swore from that moment on to be more honest about what was happening to me. I wasn’t going to face challenges alone anymore.
Interestingly enough, the group leader became one of my best friends. It turned out we had far more in common than I thought. It just goes to show you why you have to be honest about what’s happening. It may be hard, but it’s so worth it.
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Lead photo by Thinkstock Images