It’s okay to not be okay.

Lately, I’ve been not feeling “okay”. It might have something to do with being in almost constant pain for the last three weeks or the migraines that randomly decides to pop up in-between. So I have just not been feeling all that positive.

the side of chronic illness you don't see on social media
It got me thinking. There seems to be an epidemic of everyone needing to be positive 100% of the time. My Instagram and Facebook (I like to think) is a place of positivity, kindness and love. Well, I try.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m okay 100% of the time. Or that I’m about to burst into a sing-song at any moment. Or that I have a smile permanently affixed to my face. We all have down days, down hours, down weeks and even down months.

I often wonder what it would be like if Instagram or Facebook REALLY showed the realities of life. Or social media in general.

Because if so, it would showcase the hormone-induced snotty comments I get when I’ve had a really crappy day and then snapped at my hubby because I’m moody and in pain. It will show the millions of medications I have to take, and how weak I am some days.

I get it, it’s easy to be a person on the outside, making assumptions. I’ve been there and am still there to some extent. We see what’s in front of us and put on social media and formulate our beliefs based on our observations. It makes logical sense. However, when we judge the surface without understanding what’s going on inside, we fail to grasp the full picture. 

 

the side of chronic illness you don't see on social media

Every single week I have other people make observations about how I look and then formulate opinions about how I must feel.

They then go on to tell me how I must be feeling based on my appearance. Some days, they are correct, but a majority of the time my outer being doesn’t begin to express the pain beneath it.

I try to brush it off because I’m sure most people mean well. But, it’s not that simple. The neurological symptoms of having a body that fights itself have left me with crippling anxiety and depression. I get so anxious about what other people will think that I sometimes lie to them. I tell them I’m feeling okay because those are the words they probably want to hear and this eats me up inside because I believe in honesty.

the side of chronic illness you don't see on social media

I honestly try (try being the big word here) to share more on social media and through writing my blog because I want to bring awareness to AutoImmune Disease and other chronic illnesses. Because before my health took a major decline, I was completely naive too.

So, What don’t you see when you look at my social media?

→ You don’t see the pain that makes me crumple up in a ball on the bed.

→ You don’t see he migraines and headaches that occur almost every week.

→ You don’t see the insomnia – being unable to fall asleep where I can go for more than 24hours without sleep, or even waking up in the middle of the night and being unable to fall asleep again.

→ You don’t see the weeks on treatment where I have to take 20+ pills a day. It’s a lot of work to survive through those weeks.

→ You don’t see how cold my body is all the time. Unless you know me and know that I constantly have my electric blanket on in bed.

→ You don’t see a lot actually. I wish I could let you live in my body for just 24hours to truly understand this rollercoaster.

One of the worst things is how fast symptoms can change.

Unless you are close to me, you probably don’t know me well enough to notice this. But the symptoms change quickly. I can get up in the morning full of happiness and think it’s going to be a great day, only to find an hour later that I’m in pain and want to vomit. My moods change quickly too.

My point is, everyone on social media looks like they’ve got their shit together, but most of us are just as muddled as the other.

Some people are just better at pretending they have their life together. Trust me, even the most gorgeous, glamorous Instagrammers still have stuff going on in their seemingly flawless lives that all of us are dealing with too.

I share this and the side that you don’t see because some people tend to make assumptions from a person’s “highlights reel”.

We should all remember that there’s more beneath the surface. Outer appearances only tell so much. You don’t always have to be your perfect self. Or an all-singing-all-dancing smiley creature.

It’s okay to not be okay all the time.

 

You can read more about my health journey HERE.

 

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