When you see me I’m put together. My makeup is done, my hair taken care of. I’ve learned all of the little tricks to look the most presentable with the littlest effort. I’ve learned all of the little tricks to act normal despite an abnormal illness. I’ll smile, even if I’m in pain. I’ll sit quietly while my body yells at me. I do this to fit in. I do this to feel normal. I do this so others don’t have to focus on an illness they don’t know how to respond to. I do this so that maybe, every once in a while, I might get to seem like I’m not sick.
You haven’t seen my worst days. Because I hide them from you. My husband sees them, my mom sees them. But the nature of my illness is that it asks to be hidden. The last thing your body wants on a bad flare day is to be somewhere that isn’t home; to feel the need to force a smile or try to look presentable. So I hide. Tucked in my little apartment, staring at the ever-familiar walls.
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