As I lay in my hospital room, I can’t help but to ask myself why bad things happen to good people. Have you ever thought about the ways our lives play out? Why do bad things happen to good people (and I am in no way referring to myself)? The most beautiful people that I’ve encountered in my life are the people who have endured the most heartbreak. The strongest people I know are the ones who go home at the end of the day feeling like they’re the weakest. Why is it that the most beautiful spirits are the ones that struggle so much? Is it because the rest of us are so oblivious to the world around us to realize how thankful we should be? I’ve learned that when I lose myself, I somehow manage to figure everything out when I am trapped between these hospital walls- the dreary, lonely, hospital walls. Maybe it’s the beeping and buzzing in the hallway that makes me realize I’m not alone. I know that the patient in the room next door is hearing the same beeping that I hear (if they’re conscious) and for some reason I am able to find peace in that- the realization that I am far from alone. Maybe it was my caring nurse who basically searched the hospital up and down to find the specific drink I requested because I’m allergic to just about everything else. Maybe I chalk it all up to my amazing mother who is attempting to sleep in an uncomfortable chair beside this hospital bed (for the 100th time). What if I’m only finding peace due to the realization that others around me are hurting more? Why is it that we as human beings allow ourselves to dismiss our own pain just because someone, somewhere, is hurting more? Why can’t we realize that it’s okay to accept the pain we’re enduring? Because a stranger on the other side of the Earth is worse off than me, I should just pretend that my pain is irrelevant? WHY must we all feel the need to explain ourselves for each and every thought that runs through our never-resting minds?
After a solid 48 hours of living hell, I am here to spread the message that I have relearned today: “It’s okay not to be okay.” Every time I land within these hospital walls, I turn to the only thing that I know will never leave me- music. As soon as I get the opportunity, I find my headphones and drown out the hospital buzz with the familiar lyrics that bring myself back to sanity with a message that puts everything back into perspective; It’s okay not to be okay.
Jessie J, thank you for using your voice to share the message that is responsible for guiding me through dark and difficult days. Without fail, your lyrics are the first ones that come to mind when I am trapped between these hospital walls. The funny thing is, your lyrics are so familiar to me that they still manage to come to me even when I’m completely out of my mind. Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, I now know that it was your music that pulled me through the complications that arose from my previous surgeries. As I was waking up from anesthesia, my mother and nurse encouraged me to listen to music to distract me from the pain and discomfort I was feeling. Now that I have recovered from the trauma of that situation, it makes me smile to look back and see how much your lyrics helped me cope with the pain that I thought would never end. Most people embarrass themselves by talking nonsense as they come out of anesthesia- I sing. I typically cringe when a friend or family member tells me that they have a video of me that was taken while I was “loopy”, but when I heard myself sing the first line of lyrics, it was different. You see, normally I make a major effort to “be strong” for myself and those around me. I’m a “fake it ’til I make it” kind of girl. When I saw the video of myself groggily singing along to your lyrics, I was overcome by a feeling that I haven’t fully allowed myself to express up until now- vulnerability. Sometimes I believe that the only time I’m truly being myself is when I’m singing; I found this to be all too true when I saw videos of myself singing “Big White Room” and “Who You Are” as I was recovering from surgery. Thanks to the anesthesia, the true emotions that I’ve always tried to hide, came through. I remember being in an indescribable amount of pain and saying, “You have no idea how hard I’m fighting to keep it together. I don’t want to start crying.” The anesthesia must have been wearing off at this point, because I clearly remember my nurse immediately responding by telling me that I don’t have to be a hero all the time. Until that moment, I couldn’t believe how much time I’d spent trying to be something that I wasn’t- “Okay”. The truth is, by sharing this message along with the video, I feel more “real” than I have in a very long time. This is me, the real Brynn- I’m vulnerable. I’m scared that I’ll never accomplish everything that I’d dreamt of because of this cruel illness. I’m heartbroken for the opportunities that I’ve missed out on and experiences that I won’t get the chance to live out- But I am so much more than a sad story. I’m the success story. In spite of all the negatives I’ve faced and all the lows I’ve hit, I’m Okay.
If you ever need to have things put into perspective, all you have to do is spend a few moments within these hospital walls. You’ll realize that for every tear shed of sadness, there are even more cries of relief. For every life that is lost, another is saved. Hospitals are places of celebration- that’s something that you will never understand until you see it for yourself. These hospital walls contain more hope than despair. This is the hospital that made me understand that not everyone gets second chances, but those who do are less likely to take them for granted.
To each person who lays an eye on my story, please believe me when I say that if you’re struggling, it’s okay to talk about it. If you aren’t okay in the moment, I can guarantee that you will be one step closer to “okay” by the time you acknowledge it.