At the beginning of my illness, my doctor told me that I was strong and stoic and when I described my pain as a 4 on a scale of 1-10 she knew that many of her other patients would describe this same level of pain as a 10. This was curious to me because at the time, I thought I was weak and emotional. But over time I discovered that suppressing negative emotions had been my modus-operandi throughout life.
I was a good little soldier, and I got so good at hiding my emotions that I often tucked them inside before I felt anything. It took me years to recognize that there was an emotional component to my illness, and even longer to decide to look at what I was carrying.
I began to appreciate that I wasn’t weak; I had tried to stay strong for too long.