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I, like most people with a chronic illness, am really good at hiding how I feel. I wear a mask, a facade. If you ask me how I am doing, I will probably say okay or fine. I want desperately to be normal…to have normal days with normal ups and downs.
The mask is there just so I can “feel” like everyone else. I don’t want to be the Debbie Downer that is always talking about her illness.
You see, I used to be independent and loved to try new things. If I wanted to go somewhere, I went even if it meant going by myself. I sang in my church Praise Team every Sunday and owned my own at home business. I loved going out with my husband and spending time with my girls.
In April 2016 I put on my mask with it’s fake smile and cheery disposition. I closed myself up in my necessary dark room with my medication and pain and I have learned how to navigate stairs without being able to see them (I have fallen twice). My spot on the Praise Team has been given up because I no longer had the energy to stand that long. I wasn’t able to go to church for months at a time. I could no longer drive because the Hemiplegic Migraines effect my vision with no warning. As time went on it felt like little parts of me were slipping away. And if I had to go out…I wore my mask.
It is Time to Take Off the Mask!
That mask exhausts me. My life is a lot different than it used to be and it is ok. This IS my new normal. My bad days will put me in bed…my good days will be spent trying to rebuild my strength and my health.
The picture above is me during an episode. My drooped face that shows my pain is a sight that very few people have seen.