updated 08/14/2013 AT 4:45 PM ET
•originally published 08/15/2013 AT 4:45 PM ET
After successfully battling ovarian cancer for the second time and sharing her journey on PEOPLE.com, Diem Brown is back to blogging. This time around, she will not only share updates on her own life, but also about competing on her new show, MTV’s The Challenge: Rivals II.
Wednesday’s episode of Rivals 2 on MTV was a pot-stirring challenge like I have never seen before. The trivia game held all the elements to make people turn quicker than a cut apple.
I found it hilarious that one question got everyone’s blood to boil. Not “Who’s the trashiest in the house?” Nope, that question was laughed off … but answering “Who’s the fakest in the house?” had people going crazy!
Finding What’s Real
“You’re fake.” That seems like a simple put-down, but for some reason, we all hate when those two words are used to define us. Personally, I think that’s the most overused insult. Whenever someone can t pinpoint a person s personality I feel the “you’re fake” card gets used.
People who don’t really know me have said that I’m too happy and too sweet and that it can’t be real. I have even had people who don’t know my background say, “Your smile shows me you have never gone through any hardships in your life; you are just naïve to the world.”
That one always got to me … I think to the sudden passing of my mom or having ovarian cancer – twice. Yep, I guess you can say I’ve had a charmed life, huh?!
What’s funny about that is I believe I have been exceptionally lucky and, in reality, I do feel like I’ve had a charmed life because of how my family has come together through every roadblock that’s been put in our way.
My mom’s passing was and is the most traumatic event in my life to date because losing a parent is one of the hardest things to get through emotionally. That’s why when I heard that lil Jasmine’s dad had passed away less than a month before the show started taping, I reached out to her and tried to offer some words that helped me get through it.
Albert Einstein said energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be changed from one form to another. So when someone passes, their energy will still be here with you.
I’m a very faithful person, but I wasn’t planning on going to heaven anytime soon to be with my mom, so that quote gave me so much comfort knowing that, for a fact, my mom was still here with me.
Reaching Out to Jasmine
While on The Challenge, Jaz and I would spend nights talking and I thought it was healthy for her to feel safe to cry it out. Comfort is a basic human act and no matter what “game” is going on, if someone is hurting, the natural reaction is to want to comfort that person in any way possible to help ease their pain.
I think because I have gotten so much comfort from practical strangers in past challenges, I feel this endless gratitude to repay the favor. After my first ovarian cancer battle I competed on The Duel weeks after completing chemo. The love and support I felt from people I had never met before was intoxicating, and that challenge helped my emotional recovery get the jump start I needed. There was never a pity party, but there was human compassion and support.
I wanted to comfort Jaz because she was dealing with real-life issues – she was hurting and I felt a connection on wanting to find an escape from pain. Some of the new girls might have seen this act or any other moments where I’ve tried to comfort someone “not in our alliance” as fake, and I find that laughable and immature.
It’s a game and a game is separate from real life pain. No matter who is hurting, if I see pain I am drawn to want to fix it.
Normally I’m a very open and inviting person, but in this particular challenge I learned of some malicious intent from a competitor whose goal was to mentally break me, so on this challenge I was more closed off and defensive.
I felt broken coming into this challenge, so someone seeing my weakness and wanting to use my open wounds against me was shocking. So naturally I stayed clear from this person, I wasn’t going to open up to them and give them more ammo. I simply avoided them as much as possible.
Is that fake? No, that’s self-preservation. I have never felt so targeted on a challenge and personally I feel kicking someone when they are down is incredibly vicious.
However, rather than approaching that person (like I normally would do) I decided to just avoid them and hang out with the people in the house that wanted to see my smile. People who didn’t mind if I was smiling from joy or smiling to stop the pain.
Be True to Yourself
Go ahead and call me fake. I know who I am and I see myself as a compassionate and, yes, emotional person fighting for happiness! Yes, I am playing to win like everyone else there, but for me I had an internal battle as well.
I’m on a journey to be grateful and on my low days or moments I do believe smiling tricks your mind’s serotonin and makes the low moments easier to deal with.
I smile because I will always choose happiness over sadness. You can’t control how others think of you and you can’t control how others treat you. All you can do is be true to yourself and true to the coping mechanism that work for you.
Remember, no one can label you. You choose who you are! Never let other people’s labeling of you bring you down.