Today’s Guest Poster is Lauren from My Illness Start to Finish. She writes about her life with chronic illness.
Chronic illness can take many forms, some are visible and some aren’t. My boss’s wife is struggling with Stage 4 breast cancer. It is of course, highly visible, and you can bet that no one is asking her to bake 5 dozen cookies for the PTA Meeting or chaperone the class field trip. But many chronic illnesses have similar limitations but are not as easy to spot.
People have a funny reaction to illness. We expect sick people to look and act sick. But what if they don’t?
“As I crack my eyes open first thing in the morning, I groan. Its another day, a day I don’t feel good, and worse, a day I need to do something. Regardless of the activity there’s always a part of me that is just too sick and tired to do what I need to do. However, today people are waiting on me. I drag my carcass out of bed, make breakfast with my friend, Lydia, who came down to help me. I whine through breakfast and pile myself into her car, arms stacked with supplements and detoxers to get me through the day.
We arrive at the studio and I try to pull myself together. We start walking supplies up to the second floor and the planning begins. In comes the photographer, hair stylist, and makeup artists and it takes off. Today is the first day of the Chronic Beauty photo shoot.
Chronic Beauty is an idea that came to me one of the millionth times someone commented how good I was looking when I felt like I was dying. I considered the opposite and imagined what I would look like if I looked as sick as I felt and I sure didn’t like that either.
When you have the flu, it is empathetic to tell someone they don’t look good. You are acknowledging their problems. When your illness is chronic, you don’t want to look bad, but you don’t want to look good either. So, I sought 12 women with different chronic conditions to tell their story of what being Chronically Beautiful meant to them.”
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