Eyes Wide Open

I’ve been through a lot in the past 20 years that only a handful of people know about.  I have shed quite a few tears, I have held in fear and anger, I have shut myself off from the rest of the world  unable to leave my home.  Basically, I have dealt with major issues in unhealthy ways and without the support I so desperately needed.

This past cancer scare opened my eyes to a support system I never knew existed and to one that powerfully uplifted me in ways I have never experienced, ever.  Don’t get me wrong, I have some of the most amazing friends that will jump on the next plane to Arkansas if I need them.  These friends will and have been by my side through the tough times without judgement or critisim.  They are true friends.

I discovered that by opening up and publicly sharing something so deeply personal that a support system that I didn’t even know existed came out of the woodwork.  I got text messages, phone calls, tweets, Facebook messages, Skype messages, emails and even flowers from my online community.  I went from knowing I had a few close friends to knowing I have an online community of hundreds who were sending me well wishes when I went for my biopsy and prayers for benign results.  I even learned of others that had or were currently going through the same thing. Others decided they needed to get their breasts checked out as a result of my openness.

Ted Rubin shared this quote in a comment that was all too perfect:

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” ~Jane Howard

Knowing what I know now has made the realization all too clear that in order to get through life’s troubling times I should share my experiences with others.



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