By Alex Laoch
My outsides don’t match my insides. On the outside, I look just fine. I never know whether to say “thank you” or something else that’s not as nice of a reply when someone says, “Oh, but you LOOK so great!” So I smile and politely say, “Thank you.” But I don’t know how much longer I can do that.
Are you saying since I look great that I feel great? That is how it feels to me—or maybe that is how it feels to me because I know what you and others say behind my back. I may look “great,” but if you saw through my outside and looked inside me, you’d tell me I looked horrible and terrifying. You would want to gently hug me and tell me it’s going to be okay. And you’d apologize profusely for all those nasty things you say behind my back about me not really being sick that you think I don’t know about. I’m sick, not stupid. Or would you look away because it’s not kind to stare at things that aren’t pretty?
I’m rotting to the core on the inside. I feel like I’m dying. Death isn’t pretty. But maybe you would want to stare, kind of like a train wreck. You don’t want to look, but you can’t help it because it’s just awful. But what do I say? Thank you, ma’am/sir. However, I feel like the living dead. Does my hair need to be falling out, do I need to have lost limbs, do I need to have outward signs for people to believe I’m sick?
I get so tired of people not believing I’m sick or the extent of how ill I am. So is being invisibly ill a blessing or a curse? Maybe people would be more sympathetic and understanding if I “looked” sick.