I have read so much stories and blogs about people with chronic pain/chronic illness that are confronted daily by random strangers (and even people close to them) suggesting that by being “out of the house” on that particular day, means we are over exaggerating our conditions – basically lying.
I am in this situation daily. Whether it be getting out of the car in a disabled space and getting the “eyes following you to see how disabled you really are” look. Or leaving the house and being treated like its the first EVER time I’ve ever left the house on my own.
I don’t know why, but I am so unbelievably self- conscious of people making a judgement about me without even knowing me.
I rarely tell people what I’m doing any more, because of the “Well her pain can’t be that bad” or “She seems to be walking fine today”. I cannot be assed with the hassle of trying to justify MY life to anyone else. At the end of the day, it’s my business, nobody else’s.
But this also has a drawback too. Not telling people what is happening with you, means more questions when you do say something, or post on social media for example. Because by God, you have left the house and are enjoying life – I mean I should stay inside for the rest of my days, how dare I leave!? If i were to post a picture up of somewhere id been, maybe on a day trip somewhere, people automatically assume that I’m faking my illness. Why on earth should I have to limit my life and happiness just to appease others?
But you know what, I AM A HUMAN BEING – just like everyone else. Being chronically ill and housebound 90% of the time isn’t fun, so guess what – on the days I do feel better, I take that chance and go and live my life, and dare I say – have some fun!? Do I need your approval – eh no I don’t think so!!!
I am often told to get out of the house, but yet when I do, I’m judged from a distance. Just because I’m walking better that day, or don’t look as white as a sheet because Im sick with pain, doesn’t mean I’m NOT hurting. I AM HURTING – but I want to enjoy myself just for a little bit, even 1 hour, just to have a normal sense of life and be the person I am, not the person with the back pain.
This kind of judgment is never going to stop, there will always be that one person ready to bring you down, but I refuse to apologise for wanting to live as much of a normal life as I want and am able to have.
I’m not going to justify myself to anyone for leaving the house for an afternoon, or parking in a disabled space. I’m also not going to justify why I need to use a crutch that day, just for you to think I’m exaggerating how much pain I’m in at that precise moment.
I have needs as a human being, just like anyone else, and that includes being happy. I’m not going to apologise, hide or justify my reasons, to anyone.
I want to be happy, and that’s what I’m going to be……