So much of our lives we are told what we are supposed to do. We are supposed to go to school, we are supposed to do our homework, supposed to eat our broccoli, supposed to get a job, supposed to pay our dues, supposed to raise a family, supposed to dream but not too much because we are only allowed a certain amount of freedom. That freedom is limited by all of the things we are not allowed to do by binding our creative spirits in rules, regulations, societal norms, and other people’s opinions of how THEY think you should live YOUR life.

In light of this nonsense, perhaps the most applicable movie line to relay my thoughts here is:

“what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

(Billy Madison 1995)

So much of your life with an invisible illness is being dictated by what you are not allowed to do. Whether that is restricting your diet, movement, sociability, or even just your ability to rest. That’s a bunch of “Babyback Bullsh*t!” (The Longest Yard 2005). A huge portion of my journey has been spent closing myself off to opportunities for growth until I told myself: “I am allowed.”

If you have never been told before, consider this a welcoming into your next level of growth:

  • You’re allowed to hurt physically, mentally, and emotionally
  • You’re allowed to cry when you are overwhelmed
  • You’re allowed to be in pain even when no one can see it
  • You’re allowed to feel so deeply that you lose control
  • You’re allowed to not want to move because it hurts every time
  • You’re allowed to scream your heart out in frustration
  • You’re allowed to hate your disease for making you live this way
  • You’re allowed to be angry that you can’t do it yet
  • You’re allowed to struggle through the hardships
  • You’re allowed to fall flat on your face when you can no longer stand
  • You’re allowed to cancel plans when you don’t feel like going
  • You’re allowed to stay in bed when you are so fatigued to get up
  • You’re allowed to stray from the path when your willpower is low
  • You’re allowed to FAIL.

On the contrary, you, my friend, are also a magnificent warrior worthy of all of the fantastic things that your current circumstances may have deprived you of:

  • You’re allowed to be loved by your family and friends
  • You’re allowed to care and be cared for by others
  • You’re allowed to live a life on your terms
  • You’re allowed to be free of your circumstantial shackles
  • You’re allowed to leave people or places that drain your energy
  • You’re allowed to be out in nature breathing in fresh air
  • You’re allowed to take matters into your own hands
  • You’re allowed to do what is best for your mind and body
  • You’re allowed to have a good night’s rest
  • You’re allowed to eat great food
  • You’re allowed to take the day off
  • You’re allowed to travel to new and exciting places
  • You’re allowed to be healthy
  • You’re allowed to dream

and most importantly…

  • You’re allowed to be HAPPY.

Do yourself a favor from this day forward and allow yourself to grow and develop a deeper understanding of the world you live in. Every stumble and every reward along the way will only strengthen your testimony. “You’ll have a grand tale to tell. A tale of victory” (300, 2006).

 

I’ll be back,

Jake

 

**BONUS: This catchy and fun favorite of mine is a light-hearted and inspirational song by the great Jason Mraz. It is a reminder to not take things too seriously, trust the process, and have some fun! Please enjoy “Have It All.”