But You Don't Look Sick?

During the time when I was still in kidney failure and on dialysis, I came across the website But You Don't Look Sick? that pretty much sums up my own feelings about "being sick" and the way others perceive me.

Over the years I have heard everything from "you're so strong" to "you have every reason to feel sorry for yourself, and you should!" And, ok, I get it. I get that people don't understand what its like being me, and its easier for them to give me "permission" to be a "sick person" than it is for them to give thought to how they'd actually live their lives if they were me.

But You Don't Look Sick?'s article, "'My Secret is safe with ME' - what I wish people knew about me", does a good job of summing up how I feel/have felt. Especially when the author says:

"Basically I hate letting people see the effects of my disease. I don't care if they know that I'm sick, I just don't want them to have to see it, or deal with it...

...My main reason for hiding my disease is that I don't want a watered down life. I don't want the simplest option given to me because somebody thinks I can't handle any more. I want to decide.

Outwardly I think I look, and have always looked, pretty "normal/healthy". But, lets face it. I'm not. One kidney transplant didn't "fix" everything wrong with me, and I still live day-to-day feeling like someone caught between two worlds - the world of being a "healthy person" and the world of being a "sick person".

On a daily basis I go into the world and pretend like I'm fine, I'm a "healthy person", because I guess I'm fine with my own reality. Its mine and I'm OK with it.

I'm OK with it. Now, can you be?