Strength. It’s something I like to think I have: strength to push forward when things are falling apart around me, strength to help lift someone up who is struggling, and strength to get through each day with chronic pain.
I know I don’t look like I have pain. I post pictures on social media and it’s a smiling face you see, but that’s not the complete picture. I’ve been told those photos make people think I am just fine and that some of my colleagues believe I am “faking” my health struggles. They see this:
Does that girl on the right look sick? Well, she’s smiling, so obviously she’s just fine. What most do not know is that on that night I fought my headache and nausea, as I do every day, and all I consumed was gingerale.
Now for today:
Though I am mortified to post this shot – because I am extremely self-conscious and in no way like my appearance – I am doing so in an attempt to present the real picture. It’s me on only a few hours of sleep over the last 4 days, with no makeup, suffering without my daily medication, feeling exactly how I look: like garbage.
These shots are not what I post on social media, for a number of reasons, including my opinion that no one – me included – wants to see a picture of a sick person who can’t get out of bed except for a physiotherapy appointment that she can’t even drive herself to.
Forcing myself to get dressed, go out of the house, and slap on a smile for some pictures does not mean I am healthy or that I am simply pretending to be unwell. My neurologist, GP, 3 physiotherapists, osteopath, physiatrist, chiropractor, massage therapist, reflexologist, and reiki practitioner can confirm this. My husband and children who live with the girl in the second picture can confirm this. My closest friends can confirm this.
Forcing myself to get dressed, go out, and smile for photos – even though I feel terrible – is something I do because, to me, life is about having meaningful and valuable connections with others. It’s about sucking it up and making the best of one’s situation. I know I am sick, but getting out takes my mind off of that for awhile. And those smiling pics? They make me forget how horrible I feel for a few brief moments.
I apologize if this post is too negative, but I just don’t have the strength to fight that battle today.