How do I make it through life? With makeup and a smile. If you know me, you know on a daily basis I don't actually wear a lot of makeup. So why do I say I make it through life with makeup and a smile? Because I've worked hard to "not look sick." I constantly debate in my head whether it's a good idea to purposefully try not to let the world see how crappy I feel. For now I continue to hide it since I don't want pity. Before I leave the house, I put on eyeliner (I started wearing kohl when I was young so that's just preference), lip stain, and cheek stain. With some color in my cheeks and lips, I can pass as healthy.
How are people so easily fooled? Well, let me explain. I'm really smart. I know it just sounds like I'm trying to brag, but I promise I'm getting to my point. Only people that know well know how great my brain can be when on the rare instance I feel rested. The brain fog from being tired puts me at an average to slightly above average level. In order to know that I'm not bringing my A-game, you need to know what my A-game looks like. My boss at work is wonderful, understands I have good days and bad days, and trusts that I'll get my work done. Some days I leave frustrated with not getting done nearly as much as I wanted to because of being tired, on good days I can get 3 days worth of work done. My A-game is good enough to be able to balance out my bad days and still end up being a good employee. I don't know that I'd be able to hold a job if my A-game couldn't produce what it does.
If I'm still a good employee- then what does it matter if I'm healthy or not? The world that I continue to fool fails to see what happens when I'm not at work. The extra energy it takes to go to all the doctors appointments to keep me functioning well, the money that is spent on maintaining any sense of normal, and the things I miss out on because I'm too tired. When you know what you're capable of on your good days, it's hard not to get frustrated on bad ones. I've come a long way in accepting my circumstances, but that doesn't mean it's easy.
I want to see my family and friends who live close, but sometimes grocery shopping, my toddler's laundry, and my laundry are the only things I can schedule in a day without pushing myself too much. I want to see my family and friends that live far, but the medical bills stop me from being able to afford the weekend of travel. I want to be awake the days my husband works until 8:30 so we can talk about our days and maybe spend some quality time together, but if I'm awake on those nights- there's a good chance my brain is already shut off as I'm getting ready for bed. I want to have the energy to take my kid to the park and not be too tired to cook dinner when we get home. It's nice to want all of these things, but I can't have them all.
My husband has been wonderfully supportive in helping me re-define success. Even if I can't visit loved ones, they know I still care by keeping in touch. My daughter knows she is loved and cared for even if I can't chase her as much as I'd like. Everyone being fed and having clean clothes to wear sometimes is a win in our household. Hubby tries to check in earlier in the day so that we're still on the same page if I'm asleep when he gets home.
Maybe one day I'll truly be okay with the house not being clean and the bathroom being cluttered, but for now I'll just continue to be grateful for the amazing support system I have around me. I have too much in life to be pitied, so for now I will continue to fool the world with makeup and a smile.