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What I Want Lady Gaga to Know About Her Cancelled Shows as a Fellow Chronic Pain Warrior

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Dear Lady Gaga,

Late last week you announced you had to cancel a performance in Rio due to severe pain that was impacting your ability to perform. It was shortly before that you shared you were struggling with fibromyalgia.

Many people expressed their disappointment and frustration, many were angry with you and your decision and some understood. In a very weird way I was grateful and almost jealous that some did not understand, because that meant they don’t know the pain that you do – that we do.


My journey with chronic illness and chronic pain began many years ago. I learned who I was by growing up within the walls of a hospital. From a young age I learned what pain was, I learned how to live despite it but sometimes I got caught up in my pain. Inevitably, I felt isolated and angry at the reality I was facing… a reality a great deal of people did not understand. After all, I’m 23, and at my age illness and pain should not be the focus.

A few years ago I found a community of those who are chronically ill all over the world struggling with many conditions of all sorts. We were all connected by our struggling and our common goal to be heard. With each month that passes we fight to represent our illnesses and raise awareness, begging for funding, educating those around us and holding fundraisers. Most of the time it felt like our words were falling on ears that weren’t listening, our pain and struggling was still misunderstood. We are often judged; we may be called anything from “lazy” to “crazy” to anything in between.

But then you spoke out. You peeled back layers to show the world the reality Lady Gaga lives, you chose to share with us the struggles you have gone through and continue to experience. I admire you so much for not only telling the world about your chronic pain, but for being upfront about the fact that it does get in the way and it is OK to take time to nurture your body when you are hurting.

Please remember that amongst the sea of people who don’t understand, there are thousands more who have loved and admired you even more for sharing your vulnerable moments. People who share the same fight and people who know those who are struggling can learn so much from your honesty and self-care.

Though I know it cannot be easy to listen to your body instead of listening to your heart, I thank you so much for your bravery. I hope and pray you get relief in the days to come and feel the love of thousands that are cheering you on.

Follow this journey on Simply Sabrina.

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Lead photo courtesy of Lady Gaga’s Facebook page

Originally published: September 18, 2017
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