So here I am. Telling you all that I made my illnesses up. I made up the not being able to sleep. I made up the doctors visits. I made up the hospital stays. I made up the excruciating pain. I made up the weight loss. I made up the ‘I’m too sick to see you today’. I made it all up…
Or at that’s what some of you are thinking at least.
Ever since I became ill, which has nearly been 12 years, I’ve been told how I have made it all up. I first got told I was making it up, when I went to the doctors and they told me ‘I couldn’t physically be in that much pain’. I then got told ‘I was copying my friend’ who was off ill at the time (turns out I had appendicitis, and the doctor told me I was days away from it becoming a much bigger problem…). I got told I was making it up when I cancelled on my friend for the third time in a row. I got told I was making it up when all my test results came back normal. I knew they thought I was making it up, just by the look in their eyes.
There is nothing glamorous about a chronic illness, and I’m sick to death of people glamourising them. Theres nothing glamorous about screaming in pain. Theres nothing glamorous about having greasy hair because you cannot find the energy to even stand, let alone shower. Theres nothing glamorous about being covering in scars from needles and scalpels. And there’s certainly nothing glamorous about missing out on social events and not attending work or school because you cannot even bare the sound of the clock ticking.
I do understand that you find it difficult to understand that under the smile and the makeup and nice outfit, that yes, you can be sick without showing it. You’ve seen them for an hour. Not the previous hours before that, or the hours after. You didn’t see someone having to brush their hair for them, because they can’t raise their arms that high. You didn’t see someone having to carry them into bed, because they’ve collapsed on the floor from exhaustion. Like the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover.
Perhaps next time someone comes up to you and tells you that they are ill. You listen. You research. You be there for them.
I am human. I may not be someone who can come see you all the time. I may not be someone who can go out drinking multiple times in a row. I may not be someone who says yes to everything. But I am me. That’s all I can be. Stop making me feel like a bad person. I’m already suffering enough.
If you’re interested, you can view more of my health blog posts HERE