I can't believe myself. I should curl up under a rock and die of humiliation.
What happened yesterday is the adult equivalent of standing solo on stage at your high school's talent show and proceeding to throw up or pass out or sing off key with your underwear tucked into your skirt.
I went to testify at the hearing for house bill 89. I'd written my testimony. I put my heart in it. I put my greatest fears behind it. I cried while I wrote it hoping to touch a the heart strings of someone present who hadn't taken the politics from the paper to the people yet.
I got on one of my power outfits. I wore my knee high suede boots that are made for walkin'. I donned my black blazer and take-me-seriously tortoise shell glasses.
Yes, I was prepared to show that room who was boss, but instead, it showed me.
I walked up to the testimony table, statement in hand, announcing who I was and that I was representing myself as a "professional patient" (see, I was even making jokes).
I sat down and started to read, and I don't know what it was, I don't know if I'd exhausted myself, if the travel and excitement had been too much on me and my body after such an eventful day Monday (I do have a tendency to cry when I'm sick) or if I just couldn't take another second of hearing the sick referred to as profits, losses, and bylines to prove why the new health bill needs to remain.
Whatever it was, Who knows, but I only read through the first paragraph to "but without the new health care law I may not have been able to receive treatment on Monday..." before I, the consummate professional, burst into sobbbing tears.
I tried to overcome them. I tried to speak through them and pretend what was happening wasn't, hoping maybe no one would notice, but my voice came out in high pitched inaudiblle squeks.
I'd prepared a damn good statement and now here I was before all the suits and stares blubbering like a whiny school girl.
I don't know how long this went on. It felt like seconds, but then again it felt like eternity, before someone appeared at my side with tissues.
I tried to compose myself, but when i realized that wasn't going to happen I managed to look the chairman in the eye and state, "do not pass this bill." Before I snatched those kleenex and scrambled out of the room.
Luckily, with each statement I make on behalf of a bill that will negatively impact the sick comes a group of supporters who remind me that my story is necessary, and thankfully, many of those scrambled after me to remind me that many others out there are in my situation, but they're still crying hiding in their bathrooms, refusing to tell their closest friends how difficult their disease is to fight financially due to embarrassment.
I don't want to feel guilty or ashamed of my disease and how I can or can not cope with it anymore. I guess it was time to come out of hiding in a big way.
No one, especially not me, expected me to stand up and burst into tears, but hopefully those who see the new health care law as an expensive inconvenience will now have a face, an image in their mind, of who it has saved.