The two faces of chronic illness…

“I go to work, I laugh and enjoy my colleagues, I pretend I don’t feel like the first picture.”

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These two pictures exhibit what living with chronic illness can often look like. My close friends/family know I’ve had a very challenging season managing my symptoms. They don’t want to cooperate and things that usually work just aren’t working. I’m tired, fighting the depression chronic pain brings, and working very hard on remembering that at some point, the fog always clears.

However, most people see the second picture. I go to work, I laugh and enjoy my colleagues, I pretend I don’t feel like the first picture.

I think pretty much everyone has two pictures, whether they are chronically ill or not. Very often what we show people isn’t what’s really going on. I think that’s human nature. All I can say is the first picture is important. It’s important to show a group of trusted people (or in my case the entire Internet 😂), it’s important to have a support system that knows your bad day truths. For me, it’s important to document that it happened, and that I made it through, and that my actual reality is just as important as the public persona. I’m slowly trying to make the two pictures blend together. It’s hard to share the less “Insta ready” realities but I think it’s a healthier goal. So… today, I will be both pictures. Both pictures have value. Both pictures are important parts of my life.

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