“Playing the card”

It is truly a great thing to meet a blogger that you become actual friends with outside of the blogosphere and its routine of merely reading, liking and commenting on posts. I have such a friendship and we had breakfast Sunday morning.

Much of the conversation revolved around our health. She is a recent Cancer patient, note that I did not say “Survivor” and she is well versed on my situation so it was to be expected that our health challenges would be a part of the conversation. After a hell of an ordeal, she looks great. Healthy, fit and her attitude and demeanor are positive. Me, I like to think that I am the same. I live my life in a way that I hope nobody will say “Hey, that guy looks sick.” It was like talking to a female version of me sitting across the table. Like I said, refreshing.

It’s something that I have blogged frequently about, the inevitable spiral of being chronically ill to the point where you become the “Sick person.” The unfortunate reality when the first thing someone says when they see you is to ask how you are feeling. It is not that it isn’t appreciated, it certainly is, but it tends to be your identity above all else that you are, offer, or aspire to be. It can become your identity. If you let it. She and I both refuse to let it.

But then the conversation went in a related but refreshing direction when she uttered a phrase that is not new or original, but timely as hell and needed to be said.

“Everyone has a card to play.”

It really struck a chord with me and we talked about it at length. The words “survivor”, “sufferer” are an extrapolation of the victimhood culture we live in. People fall back on identity to define themselves, inject their ordeals into unrelated conversations and situations to elicit a response, sympathetic of otherwise, or in the worst case scenario, to obtain an advantage or alter an outcome. My friend and I are both tired of it and refuse to “play our card”. We don’t care if you are a minority, a woman in a man’s world, Gay, trans, poor, or misunderstood. Don’t let victimhood be your defining trait. Just live your life.

Everyone has a burden to bear. That is the origin of the famous saying,
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
But the true warriors don’t announce their burden to the world, they generally go about their business the best they are able. Yet many insist on letting their burden define them.

As we wrapped up, we inadvertently revealed that we both derive great pleasure helping and supporting others It serves several purposes; It is our obligation as human beings to support each other, it takes your mind off of your own struggles, and most importantly, it reminds us that everyone has something to deal with.

Here’s to being strong. Here’s to taking advantage of opportunities and not problems. Here’s to standing tall. Here’s to the day when equality is assumed and not demanded. Here’s to the end of the victim mentality. We all have so much to offer the world if we shed those shackles.

Most of the bloggers I follow have some kind of Chronic Illness. NONE of them complain. They just want to be normal.

What is normal? I suppose that is a topic for another day.

33 thoughts on ““Playing the card””

  1. 1. Where have I been?
    2. I didn’t read other comments first.
    3. Paragraph: “It really struck a chord…” ~ SPOT ON!
    4. Excellent post because this is my “take-away”…you never know what impact your words will have on another human being. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Playing the victim card… I know a few, but most of the FEW are drama queens anyway about anything. I think getting any kind of illness allows you to stop, take your own inventory, and proceed from there. How you handle life after, well, that’s a coin flip. In general, people have issues, problems, illnesses, intolerances, how do they handle those? I think it says a lot about you and your friend having this discussion in the first place. Common good will towards your fellow man. I’m just really impressed with this post and it’s message. And it is so true, everyone has a story they’ve never told, so be kind. Bravo Billy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you two stayed in touch!…. I’m also glad she is keeping her head up. After having the privilege of meeting you both, I have no doubt you both with continue to be great and do great things. Now don’t YOU forget that 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oooooooo. I like that question. I may steal if from you this week as I have no idea what to write about. I will give credit where credit is due, however. I know who you are talking about and am glad you connected. Happy to hear she looks and feels great. Based on her recent blogs, she is still full of piss and vinegar, which is good to see

    Don’t forget, a Fenway rendezvous (or two) this year

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Somewhat related is the fact that we try to act, and we raised our daughter to act kindly in many situations simply because we don’t know what someone might be dealing with. It’s hard sometimes in a social media community to know much about people, particularly when you start following them midstream, as it were. Humans sure are complicated.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’d LOVE to see a romance blossom here. Even though I’m an asshole, I’m a sucker for a love story and a happily ever after!! Even if “it’s not like that,” please let me have my daydreams! lol! You are an amazingly inspirational man, B, and I greatly admire and respect you and your positivity in regards to your chronic illness and also life in general. I’ve tried to model myself as a more profane, female version of yourself since I began following your blog. Some days I have “you” on fleek. Others not so much, but I keep on keeping on trying to attain your positive attitude. You’re A-OKAY in my book.
    You have made your way into my memoirs I’m writing. Your name has been changed to protect your identity😊

    Liked by 1 person

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