Everyday I have pain surging through my joints. I have headaches daily. My body aches, walking can feel like wading through water. I feel like I’m drowning in fatigue. Lupus is felt by me daily, because it demands to be felt, but it doesn’t demand to be seen.
“How’re you?” is, like most people, a question I’m asked daily. My answer is always the same “I’m doing good”, very few people can detect that I’ve just lied to them. I recently started flaring and my mood slipped low, it’s something that happens a lot during a flare. I’m almost certain that my efforts for it to go unnoticed were successful.
When you’re diagnosed with an incurable illness, you slowly learn how to act. You learn how to smile when smiling is the last thing you want to do. You learn how to do a convincing laugh, when all you want to do is be in bed resting. You learn how to act like everything is OK and that you’re OK.
My main reason for covering up how I truly feel, physically and mentally, is because I don’t want to upset people. I don’t want my loved ones to feel hopeless because they can’t help me. I don’t want people to think “oh here she goes again with endless complaints”. I certainly don’t want to look like I spend half of my time moping around about my illness and how it affects me.
I view my illnesses as a personal thing. There isn’t much anyone could do to help me feel better, it’s a matter of me listening to my own body and doing what it asks. I decide what painkillers would be best with the level of pain I have. I decide if I need to spend the day resting in bed and I decide what I can and can’t do. My family disagree with this, but I struggle to get out of the mindset of it.
My response “I’m doing good” has become an automatic response. My mind doesn’t even think about being honest anymore for the reasons listed above. And, no matter how hard I try to be honest, my mind just doesn’t let me.