Dear Lady Gaga: Thank You for Shining a Light on Chronic Pain

Lady Gaga,

Thank you for opening up the closet door (as you always manage to do so eloquently) into the uncomfortable, unsettling, personally violating, and ugly part of your life that is chronic pain. Thank you for shining a light onto those of us suffering every day.

I’m open about my pain. It’s a part of me. Take it or leave it… I sure don’t have the luxury! I am strong. This is me. Because of my openness, sharing my life with those I trusted, and my own self-advocacy I’ve lost two “best friends” I had cried to. I left an immature man I loved who called me “damaged goods” during a fight. Wow… that hurt. It’s hard for me to be “weak” and “scared” because that makes it all real. I don’t like to do that.

After painful procedures, endless appointments, invasive injections, a failed surgery…all efforts and treatments trying to get better, only to receive more bad news, you do break down and admit that you are weak and scared. I thanked these women for sitting with me on my bad days. Thanked them for being there and listening to me cry. Thanked them for helping me with my son when I was unable to do it. Doesn’t get more vulnerable than that.

That blew up in my face… some people don’t like things that are unpleasant. Pain is unpleasant. These girls both vanished from my life and my son’s life. He still carries that weight. That grief. That is the worst part. Those are just three examples, three people I loved and my son loved more than anything. I had to cut some people out of my life after being put down, mistreated, and honestly abused for being physically disabled. I let these people say things to me that were unacceptable more times than I can count.

I have experienced countless moments of harsh judgment and despicable shaming. I’ve had sunny Saturdays replaced by lonely days in the dark. I’ve had to let my dreams go. I have found new dreams only to have to let some of them go too. Still I fight and continue on slowly working on the dreams I can do as of right now. I’m proud of myself. Not everyone can take this… I pray those who have been cruel to me never have to. I don’t think they’d make it.

Pain brings out this internal fight! Hoping and trusting… then knowing it’ll all be OK. You count your blessings. I find comfort in gratitude. I am very lucky and rich in my life. My son is healthy and happy. I have amazingly supportive friends, my Grandma, my writing, my passion to help others, my art, my education, my mind. My laughter is my fight. I’m grateful I can still see the good that not everyone can be, or see.

Thank you, Gaga. You may not see that you hold the hands of those who suffer in silence. You are beautiful. You are an inspiration. You are breaking barriers.

Thank you for sharing your pain. You are a warrior. You are human. You suffer. You are an angel!

Forever and Eternally Grateful,
Sarah E. Hoekstra

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