What Is It Like to Be Me?

You don’t know what it’s like to be me

I don’t want you to get close enough to see

But I do want you to try to understand

Nothing about me screams I’m woman

I look okay on the outside but I wish you could see

The effects that this disease has taken on me

You look at me and say what’s wrong with you now

Without realizing your words hurt me then and hurt now

This is no manufacture of a sickness in my head

This is constant pain from when I awake till when I go to bed

This isn’t a way to scam the government to pay my way

This is tears over the love of nursing that has faded away

This is not pretending to be sick to get out of anything

This is learning your limits and understanding your pain

This is losing friends because they don’t want to deal with you

This is dirty looks from family who don’t know what you’re going through

This is the destruction of your life, all you’ve ever known

This is a disease that digs deep until you have nothing left to show

This is praying for a cure so the pain will go away

This is listening to others stories so you can help in some way

This is getting it together, picking up the pieces of your life

This is learning to be alone because that is its price

This is a debilitating and life-changing disease called fibromyalgia

This is my life, living in silence trying to run from the nostalgia

You don’t know what it’s like to be me

No this is not about getting pity

This is to shed light on what you don’t know happens inside of me

So next time you look you’ll be able to see

My strength, my dedication, my faith, and my spirit

And when I tell you I’m really hurting, this time you’ll hear it


Valerie Collins
Valerie Collins
Valerie Collins was born in Tucson, Az, the last of six children. She has loved writing since a child but decided to pursue a career in Orthopedic nursing. Shortly after her marriage and birth of her first child at the age of 22, she was diagnosed with the chronic pain disease, Fibromyalgia, its subsequent conditions, illnesses, and syndromes. Once the disease disabled her in 2001, she revisited her passion for writing poetry and short stories and has accumulated over 100 poems and spoken word pieces over the years. She became a member of the International Society of poets in 2002 and The International Who's Who in Poetry in 2006. She currently is a member of Realistic Poetry International, Who's Who Among American Business Women, and Women of Facebook Create. Her accolades include 2005 Poet of the Year. She was awarded both the Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry and the Official Commemorative Poetry Ambassador Medal while serving as a Poetry Ambassador associate in 2007. She wrote a play entitled “Fix Me Jesus” in 2012 for Alabama 1st COGIC State AIM Youth Convention Competition drama category which was awarded second place. Currently, she is in rehearsals for her second stage play for the local playwright, Shawna D. Moore which will be on stage in August 2019. She is in the process of compiling a two-volume poetry book entitled My Poetic Life: A Memoir of Love and a book detailing her life with Fibromyalgia, entitled Behind the Walls of Silence. In July 2018, she created her first blog site My Poetic Life (The Book) as @vfurrmstheblogger to act as a launch for both books and it has taken on a life of its own. She also owns a small crochet business, Val's Gifts of Warmth, where she sells her handmade crochet items.

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  1. May you find healing in your life. often writing the words down as you have done is a starting place. Believe in the future and never worry about what others think. You have friends here and while you may never see us or meet us you should know that there are many caring and kind people in this group that pray for your wellness and offer you our friendship..

  2. Only you know and can really feel what day to day life is like for you. People only know what they see which prompts comments like “you don’t look sick to me.” Judging others comes very naturally for some even though they are in no position to say anything as their lives may be very flawed. Your poem screams to live your life minus pain and to be able to do what you used to be able to do. G-willing that happen. No, I do not suffer from physical pain but there are health issues that affect me. There are only a few people that understand. Most of the time I put up a wall in front of me. Be proud of what you did accomplish in your career. Be proud and happy for how you put so much love into your family. Do not diminish your writing ability. Its is difficult as heck to look for positives when you are suffering in pain or G-d is testing you. As stupid as it may sound all we can do is the best we can do. We have to strive to be good caring people who are willing to help others even if we are limited ourselves. I only wish you the best of everything.