Make-Up & Chronic Illness

Make-up is such an important thing for those of us who are chronically ill. Make-up is our form of a mask, to hide our pain and illness(es) from the outside world, from those who don’t know us.

Although we also wear make-up because we like to make ourselves feel pretty, to feel nice, when on the inside we feel so far from nice, because our insides are burning and aching and causing us unbearable pain. And just because we are wearing make-up, this doesn’t mean that we are well, that we are ‘cured’, that our struggles have gone. It just means we are choosing to hide them from the world for a while.

Make-up hides the fact that we were awake until 5am in agony, tossing and turning in pain, with tears in our eyes. Make-up hides the fact that our bodies feel raw on the inside from the amount of pain we are in, that we feel so tired we don’t know how it is humanly possible to keep on functioning (yet of course we do continue to function, although maybe after a nap).

You don’t see that while applying our make-up that our hands are shaking because our arms are in so much pain lifting the mascara wand to our eyes, that we have to take breaks in between applying each item of make-up because we are so exhausted from trying to make ourselves feel nice. You don’t see that after we have finished applying our make-up that we need to lie down for a while to try to gather up some energy to continue with our day.

If you see a friend, or someone you know, who has a chronic illness, and they are wearing make-up, don’t tell them that they look ‘well’, because this is more than likely to be so far from the truth. Make-up is a mask, underneath the make-up, inside our bodies, we look far from well. The truth is, if we looked the way we felt, no-one would want to approach us. We would look like a zombie from The Walking Dead. Though sometimes it seems it would be easier for us to look this way, because then at least people would believe us when we say we are in agony, our bodies feel weak and exhausted.

Never underestimate how a person feels on the inside, as the saying goes ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’.

Love & light,
Sophie x


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