By Scott Farmer
A patient advocate turns negativity into tools to win the war.
Here’s a little song I wrote—you may relate to it note for note.
The pain is not just in my head. My life is a shell, where something once thrived. Everyone around me is doing just fine. I’m alone in the dark in my shell—in the farthest dark corner from health.
My anger is building—the pressure has nowhere else to go. My anxiety creates incredible fear. Who am I fooling? No one really cares. I am depressed because people see me as disease—nothing more. I am defined by my shell. I am fragile and helpless. I’ve been within myself too long. I am invisible to those who are well, and to them, all I am is hell.
My gut aches and I shake. I tremble when I think I am disappointing them once again—so then I just sleep. But they write it off, because I am a disease.
My anger is building, and I cannot see, that maybe becoming visible is what really defines me. It knocks me back down—who am I to think I can see? Just stay down this time, like all the times before. There was a time when I saw much more.
But here I shake, alone much more, eating pills to numb my feelings—afraid of what could be. Every time I stress it hits me. Every time I sleep it wakes me. Fear protects me. It makes me comfortable here in my dark shell—within myself. Where I can’t love, I can’t feel, I can’t laugh, and I can’t heal.
My family is so gentle—avoidance is best. They are drifting away, because all I do is rest. They have heard every excuse, and I know they wonder why they are cursed with someone who isn’t present. I’m at the bottom of my shell; I have lost my fight. I want to close my eyes, and relieve everyone from my disease. I hope to close my eyes one last time.
Then, in an instant, I look deep into my child’s eyes. I see my light. I see my old fight. I always want my child to fight. What example would I be, if I just give up tonight?
My fight is waking up. My anger is my fuel. I no longer want this. I no longer want to be defined by misery. My fight must win. My faded light wants to burn bright. I want to feel the sun on my face. This life is my chance. To live and to be strong—so at least at the end I can die in peace, knowing I gave it hell.
I burst through this shell—it will define me no longer. I’m going to start making people see my anger. I want them to see my fight. I want them to see me as a person—not a burden. This is my life.
Let people see my quirks. If they fail to accept me, then it’s best we part ways. It is time to focus on me—to be better for them. Effort and strength is what will define me. I grasp at weapons to help me on my journey. My shell turns to armor. My body and mind merge—welded by energy.
The inflow of energy is positive and I reject the negative. I am consumed by positive links that connect to deflect negativity. I utilize my weapons—this is the most important battle of my life.
Love becomes my weapon for motivation. Anger becomes my weapon for visibility. Education becomes my weapon for advocacy. Anxiety becomes my weapon for awareness. Depression becomes my weapon for positivity. My gut becomes my weapon to fuel my body. My mind becomes my weapon for energy. My doctor becomes my weapon for expertise. My nurse becomes my weapon for empathy.
I am ready for battle. I take advantage of my disease. It makes me stronger. I throw away my assumption of normal. I embrace my intricacies, and use them to LIVE my life—not survive my life. I surround myself with positivity—no longer haunted by negativity. Hope prevails.
This is a song about the battle of life—for my life.
The dust has settled. What remains is peace. With peace, I work every day at creating my healthy self. It is a journey to become visible—to feel invincible.
Scott Farmer is a patient advocate. As the founder of Brow Tine Consulting (a medical education group), he is on a mission to improve the quality of patient care. He specializes in educating health care teams on the latest science and treatment options. Utilizing shared decision tools, the education is integrated with patient success stories to motivate, advocate, and unify medical disciplines, and to revitalize our health care system.