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Day 54: Armor

This is Day 54 of the Positive 100, a countdown to Rare Disease Day 2014 and an exercise in being positive despite it all.

Armor can be a double edged sword. It can protect you as you head in to battle, but it can also be an effective way to keep people out.

We arm our bodies with vaccines, healthy foods, knowledge and strength. We also arm our hearts with walls. And our lives with silence.

I protected my heart so well, no one knew how bad the pain was

I know all about armor. I used to wear a lot of it; I still wear some. Particularly around my heart.

It is hard to be different when what makes you different wasn’t your choice. It’s hard to let others in when you don’t want pity.

The easy answer is to build those walls or fit a perfect suit of armor over your heart. If you don’t let people in, they cannot hurt you. Right? If you do not let them see you in pain, they cannot pity you. You think you can protect yourself and your dignity. You hope you can protect your friends and family from the worry and yourself from heartache.

The hard answer is, that while you can wear all the armor you want, if you don’t let anyone in, your heart might just whither away.

I found out the hard answer is the right answer when I started to lose friends because they didn’t understand why I would always be canceling plans at the last minute. Or why I wouldn’t give them a heads up about a trip to the hospital. When people started to call me aloof and distant. When friends started to think I didn’t care anymore, when in fact, it was quite the opposite.

Protect yourself if you must, but always remember to take off your armor and be vulnerable around your family and friends once in a while. You owe it to them (and yourself) to let them in. To let them comfort you. To let them try to understand.

Who do you take your armor off for? Share your answer on social media with the hashtag #100positive days on TwitterInstagram and Google+

Also, you can sign up to be emailed a recap each week of the challenge.


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