Most People Wouldn’t Know

dscn4393

Most People Wouldn’t Know

Most people wouldn’t know,
until I broke out my cane,
that I live with chronic pain in my legs and feet.

Most people wouldn’t know
how I have to delicately ration my time
between activity and rest,
if I am to function in all the ways they see me.

Most people wouldn’t know
that I’m unable to wiggle my toes,
due to atrophy,
or that some days I am unable to get out of bed.

My situation is no different than anyone else’s.
For we can never know just what is going on for someone.
Loss, grief, loneliness, anxiety, shame, anger, mental illness,
all are invisible to the naked eye –
except, when they’re not.

Most people wouldn’t know,
unless I told them,
that I don’t want them to be sorry for me,
because I’m not sorry for myself,
not anymore.

Most people wouldn’t know
all of the invaluable lessons
my pain has taught me.
Forcing me, at first kicking and screaming,
to learn how to take good care of myself,
so that I would in turn be able to take
good care of others.

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