invisible illness · pain

Trying to Mask the Truth

First, Happy Memorial Day and thank you to all of those out there who have sacrificed their lives to protect our country. I think a lot gets lost in the meaning of what the day really is. Others see it as a day to barbecue and celebrate the kickoff to summer. I see it for what it is, as I have lots of family members who served over the years in different wars (luckily with no loss of life). I have a lot of compassion in me, and I can recognize that just because my family survived, others weren’t as lucky. So, spend the rest of the day thinking about that while you are eating and drinking with friends and family members, if even for just a minute.

As for me, I had an interesting experience yesterday. My fiancé and I were invited to our friends’ place yesterday for dinner. I ALWAYS try to mask my pain, my sadness, my not feeling well in general. My friends know what I am going through, but I try so hard to avoid them seeing that side of me. We got there and ate, and just after that, I could feel the pain getting worse and worse. I was trying to stand and converse with them, but I couldn’t stand for even five minutes. I felt my fatigue coming on like a bolt of lightning. I looked for the nearest couch and sat there trying to pretend like I was okay. It became apparent after a while that I wasn’t getting up from the couch and wasn’t talking anymore. 

The say to not let your illness define you or let it take over your life, but in this situation, I had no control over it. I felt horrible, and all I wanted was to be cuddled on my couch in sweatpants with ice on my back. It was even intolerable to be in the jeans I was wearing, as weird as that sounds. Being constricted only made my pain worse and my muscles ache more.

My friend was kind enough to stay with me on the couch, even as more people came over to her place later on. She could tell that I was hurting and didn’t leave me alone. It was really nice to know that my friend was supporting me in this moment that I felt embarrassed about. I felt weak and looked antisocial. I wanted to be there, but I knew I had to get home as soon as possible to rest.

It makes me sad because I try to be so strong and act normal, but the reality is that I am sick and need to understand and follow the signs my body is giving me.

It’s hard to keep your chin up when everything else is dragging on the ground. 

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