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The Sia Song That Helps Me on Tough Days With POTS

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Until a few years ago, I had never thought about the word “elastic” before.  Elastic means “able to resume its normal shape spontaneously after contraction, dilatation or
distortion.” It is not a common word, but it does come up in conversation or in writing enough to make it not an uncommon word either.

I had also never thought about elasticity being a good or bad thing. But that changed when I first heard the song “Elastic Heart” by Sia. The pertinent lyrics of the song go like this:

I’ve got a thick skin and an elastic heart
But your blade, it might be too sharp
I’m like a rubber band until you pull too hard
But I may snap and I move fast
But you won’t see me fall apart
Cause I’ve got an elastic heart

I realized that elasticity, and in particular an elastic heart, could be a good thing when I was first diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia syndrome (POTS). The diagnosis came right around the time “Elastic Heart” began playing on the radio. I had struggled for years to find a reason for the myriad of symptoms that afflicted me, and the reason finally came in 2013. 

The first time I heard “Elastic Heart” was on the drive home from the doctor’s appointment where I had obtained my diagnoses. It was perfect timing.

The song so beautifully seemed to tell the story I hoped could be mine as I tried to imagine moving forward with my life with my new diagnosss. POTS often causes a person to have an accelerated heart beat when it should not be elevated. A POTS diagnosismay cause emotional upheaval in a person’s heart while they try to come to terms with it and learn to live within its symptoms.  The heart is both literally and figuratively
stretched in abnormal ways.  The lyrics to “Elastic Heart” reminded me hearts can be elastic and snap back.

Even though my heart beats too wildly when it should not be, it does and can return to normal after a while. It still retains its elasticity, even if it malfunctions. My symptoms are not always at their worst, and I revel in those times. 

At the time of diagnosis, a lot was going on in my heart because of my, but Sia’s lyrics reminded me to remember that acceptance would come, and I would benefit from the elasticity of the heart when it came to emotions. I was dealing with a sharp blade, like the lyrics say, and sometimes I have and will stumble, but my heart is elastic.

I am so thankful this song came out at the time that it did. From the first time I heard it when all the way up to present day, it’s given me strength when I needed it most. When my
symptoms are bad or when I struggle to keep moving forward, I listen to “Elastic Heart” and remind myself my heart still retains elasticity. And if I have that, my heart can get through anything.

The Mighty is asking the following: Describe a scene or line from a movie, show, or song that’s stuck with you through your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.






Originally published: June 7, 2016
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