I understand why people may look at me and presume I am just like any other person. Well, in a lot of ways I am just like everyone else... I am interested in style and fashion, I wear makeup (most of the time) and you can often catch me out and about with friends, family or my boyfriend. But underneath those things it’s difficult to see the real challenges I face every day. I often get frustrated when people say I look well or comment that it looks as if nothing is wrong with me. If I am having a particularly bad day, it frustrates me even more. Not that I expect sympathy at all... it would just be nice to maybe bump into someone and not have to explain that even though I look ok, I feel like crap or I’m in agony and I don’t want to stand around and chat. I don’t like to be rude and if there are no obvious signs that I am not feeling well, then why wouldn’t people think it’s ok to stand and have a chat in the supermarket (even though I was secretly hoping to sneak in, rush around to get the bits I need and then sneak back out very quickly to the comfort of my home).
I know I look like crap without make up, even when I am feeling well. I have never really been blessed with natural beauty and flawless skin (unfortunately) and I often consider not wearing any make up or not making an effort with my clothes when I go out so that people may see I’m not feeling the greatest and they may just leave me be. But that sounds horrible, and unsociable, and I don’t particularly like being out in public looking like something that has been raised from the dead and put in a track suit.
Some days, I really don’t have the energy to think about what to wear (even though it seems like a simple task). The thought of trying to put a pair of jeans with a top and then finding shoes that will go... then I realise I can’t wear those shoes because they make my knees hurt or my jeans might accentuate my swollen knees so I have to start all over again! I then can’t even contemplate using my sore swollen hands and wrists to put on makeup (not that I wear that much and it requires a trowel or anything) but it does take effort that I often would rather use to get up and go to work or make a coffee. How stupid that I sometimes debate for age’s weather to brush my hair or make some breakfast! Which is more important?!
I miss those days when getting up and getting ready for the day was effortless. Don’t get me wrong, it has always been a struggle to get out of bed but for very different reasons, like a hangover or lack of sleep because of too much work etc. I really did take for granted the ability to do such simple things when I was well because, well, why would I see it as a luxury? It’s just a daily occurrence that people get up and prepare themselves for public view with a bit of grooming.
Truth is, I’d rather look like absolute crap on a bad day to save the hassle of explaining that even though I look ok, I need help with my shopping trolley or I can’t carry my bags back to the car. If you ask someone for help when you look ‘normal’ they think you are taking the mickey or that you are just beyond lazy. Because they don’t SEE your problem, you can’t have a problem. So you are less likely to get help or sympathetic people. Maybe I should just get a wheelchair for the principal that most people tend to be kind and helpful if they think you are fully disabled. I don’t actually quite need it of course but it would save a lot of hassle in the supermarket. Or I could just go mad and strap up everything, wear an eye patch, get a Zimmer frame and a neck brace for the pure fun of it that then people would take notice. Do I look ill now? Shame on you, punk on aisle 7, who wouldn’t get the bag of sugar down from the top shelf for me. Next time, ill accidentally drop it on your head or break it. ‘This is a staff announcement... Clean up on aisle 7 please’.