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On the Days I Feel Like I Suck at Life, I Remember This

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Before my diagnosis, 19 years of CDC-positive Lyme disease, my family had decided it was funny to do the “I suck” dance. We would do the “I suck” dance to take the sting out of failure, out of self-judgement and shame attacks.

It was just a little dance, waving your hands from one side to the other. It was supposed to be an acknowledgement, a brief pause, and then an opportunity to start fresh.

It was supposed to be lighthearted and funny, to balance the very real feelings of not being enough. Those feelings of dropping the ball.  The brain fog, the forgetfulness, the overwhelm. The pain. “I suck.” Right. Moving on.

I am occasionally an overachiever, and I took that dance to places it was never meant to go. I could own the suck in any situation, and hold my head high.

Until just recently. I was doing The Dance. My partner told me, “I don’t want to see you do that dance anymore.”

I persisted. “I feel like I suck. It’s just how I feel.”

The response: “You don’t suck. You’re an awesome person. Stop saying you suck when you don’t.”

I was stunned.

He was standing up for me.

He was defending me. Even against myself.

Even now it makes me want to cry, the compassion in that statement. The very real understanding of how vulnerable I am to letting people down, and the inherent conflict of that vulnerability in the face of decades of Lyme disease (recently diagnosed) and the inherent challenges I face on a daily basis.

Compassion. For me. Without judgment.

I am blessed.

Also? I’m just sick.

I don’t suck.

Originally published: July 8, 2016
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