Lessons of Humility
"Sometimes we need someone to simply be there. Not to fix anything, or to do anything in particular, but just to let us feel that we are cared for and supported." -unknown
“Don’t be ashamed of your story. It will inspire others.” -Unknown
It took a while for me to tell people (even those close to me) about my diagnosis. Part of the reason is that when I say it out loud, I get emotional. The other reason: I don’t want to be treated any different.
I know this sounds silly. Many people may be thinking “Why on earth would people treat you any different?”. I don’t know that people actually WOULD treat me any differently, but maybe they will, and honestly, I am not the most confident person in general, so add “brain tumor” to the list of things that make me self conscious and it’s sometimes just too much for me.
In my 28 years of life, I’ve not had the easiest time making and keeping friends. Maybe it’s because I’m a little (ok, a lot) awkward, quite unsure of myself, maybe it’s because my priorities are different than others, or maybe I’m just missing the mark and it’s for reasons that I’m unaware of. I had a hard time in school with making and keeping friends, especially high school. I feel like I’m still in recovery mode since those 3 years of my life and in many situations I get SO overwhelmed or insecure and I completely shut down. Some of you that know me, probably disagree with this statement–but think back to when you first met me and maybe you’ll remember that I was quieter and less social that once we finally got to know each other. Either that, or my husband was right by my side helping me be more secure and confident because that man…he is my rock, he’s amazing, and he knows when I’m starting to crumble on the inside.
Wow…now that you know this deep secret of mine…maybe it makes a little more sense why this acoustic neuroma is just adding another level of insecurity inside of me. *moving along, forgive the awkward^*
So this whole being humbled thing… I am realizing that I need to rely on others. There is no way that I can go to appointments and have rational and comprehensive conversations with doctors with my 2 littles in the room, and I need to be able to fully understand what I am being told. With Bryan being in school, this forces me to ask for help from those around me, which. is. hard. I was raised to be strong and independent (poor Bryan). I shouldn’t need to ask for help, I should be able to handle this on my own, right? Wrong.
I told one of my sweetest friends about my brain tumor over text (remember how saying it out loud makes me a sobbing mess? yeah…this avoided that) and she responded with, “The fact that you’re telling me this says a lot because I know you try to keep hard things to yourself. <<<<<this is me, to a T!. “This is why friends are great because I’m definitely here for a good cry, anytime.” Anddddd…I realized at this moment that I need good, solid, positive people in my life to help me through my journey. It was a little whack of the humility stick to help me not be so ashamed of my story. I keep having to be whacked with that humility stick, but I’m getting better at asking for help and it feels so nice to have friends that are so understanding and you know what? They treat me the same. Go figure!
Since telling people about my diagnosis, I am constantly reminded by the people surrounding me that I am much more than “Hailee-the girl with a brain tumor” to them. They love me, they ask with sincerity how I am feeling, and they listen when I answer with something more than “fine”. These people, they are my tribe. They are people that I can confide in, or entrust with my actual feelings about my journey. And they. are. awesome.
I am learning to accept love, help, and caring words. Those acts of service are teaching me how much my Father in Heaven loves me and how aware He is of me. He has put so many wonderful people in my path, and these people are not only lifting me up, but they are examples to me of how we can serve others. I am learning that I have awesome people in my life who love me for me (awkwardness and all), and I have a feeling this is only one of many blessings coming my way if I can rely on and stay close to my Heavenly Father throughout this trial.