A smile hides the pain.

It’s cliche of me to quote, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

As I read stories about my chronic illness, I notice one thing about many who are facing the same issue. Although someone appears a certain way on the outside, you cannot feed off of what goes on in the inside.

I read a post about a young woman who is going through many invisible illnesses. She displayed two pictures of herself. In one picture, she showed herself covered in makeup. In the other, without makeup. I found this post very inspirational because she showed the nasty comments that people would write under the picture that showed her without makeup. They would ask her questions such as,”Why? Why would you post something like that.” She explained that although these comments would get to her from time to time, this is what she choose to show to the world. She is going through a journey and she wants to share her pictures of her laying in hospital beds.

It’s interesting as well, because you never know what anyone is dealing with by just looking at them. I myself am dealing with this issue. People would assume because I appear to be healthy, my illness is not serious at all or they simply do not believe me. However, they do not see the battle that I am fighting. A smile covers the pain. I choose to give off the impression that although I am fighting the hardest battle that I have ever dealt with, I will always carry a smile because I will never allow it to win.

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I posted this picture on one social media website months ago. I will never forget this day, it was the day after I collapsed in the shower and I thought I was dying. This was the day after I knew I had to take my health serious and seek medical attention. A friend of mine asked me why would I post this picture and then said I display my private life to the public too much.

This is tough a journey for me. One thing I learned is that no one will understand what you are going through unless they are dealing with it or something similar. I gave up fighting with others and begging for them to understand. I gave up with crying because I felt alone. I have to constantly take a step back and cool off before I nag at someone for not understanding. It’s not their fault. Instead, I talk to others who are dealing with all sorts of illness. It’s comforting and I now feel understood.

I had to make one of the hardest decisions in my life so they I can focus on my health. I use to push myself and overwork with little to no sleep. I felt complete whenever I did something productive. I was ignoring the signs to rest until my body completely shut down on me. Because of this, I had to give up on my job, school, performances, and my social life. It was not easy, but it’s the best decision I have ever made. Most of the people in my life do not understand why I choose to stay in bed & spend my time in hospitals/doctor offices more than anything. To them, it’s a sign of being lazy. To everyone who is going through this, it’s a sign of getting better. It’s not an option.

So, instead of being quick to judge you have to understand everyone have a story. Be kind and show support instead of tearing them down.

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2 thoughts on “A smile hides the pain.

  1. I understand you pain. Well not completely, but by analogy I get it. I agree that people don’t understand you unless they’re going through it or something similar.

    I remember one day talking to a (former) friend about an important problem, that I am still dealing with. She became dismissive and gave me the typical “You just need to do this and that” for an answer. Even cracked up. Cracking up? That didn’t sit well with me. I can’t remain close to insensitive people. So we are no longer in touch.

    We only need two to three very close and compassionate friends (and we must pray for that). We don’t need more. I have learned to be very selective in the people I share my problems with, because they will often times be insensitive, have “all sorts of solutions for you”, and minimize it, while they cant even solve their own issues. Other people’s problems always look easier to solve than our own.

    As you stated everyone goes through something. I believe that the picture you posted received such a reaction because, truth be told, most people don’t CARE about other people’s issues. My guess is they just didnt want to see that. God gave me this gift of compassion for others, but very rarely do they return it.

    I find you brave for making the choices you’ve made, most people don’t have that courage. At the end of the day, making good choices is far more important than waiting for others to understand you, especially when the latter may never happen.

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    1. I just want to say that God has really blessed you with a good heart. I completely get it, you show compassion for others but they rarely return it. That’s what happens, and it’s so easy to be upset about that but sometimes I try to let it go. As for the friend, I recently started distancing myself from people who would laugh whenever I tell them something. We all need someone that’s caring and understand even if they don’t understand our situations. The fact that they are still willing to listen and try with an open hand to lift us is enough. Thank you so much for this comment and for reading. 🙂

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