“You Don’t Look Sick,” and You Don’t Look Ignorant

I used to be the girl who never wore make up and could walk into a room full of people with no problem. I had next to perfect skin and a smile to match. Unfortunately, life happens and things change as quickly as my health did. Now I’m the girl who takes hours to get ready, just trying to look somewhat decent and function as a regular human being.

So who are you to say I don’t “look sick?” I wasn’t asking for your unsolicited opinion about how I look. And just by seeing my face, hair and the clothing I wear doesn’t mean you know anything about how I feel or what my body goes through on a daily basis.

You can’t see my legs, feet or back to see the damage that has been done due to my health. You also can’t feel the pounding in my head as if I’m getting hit with a baseball bat to the head over and over again.

You don’t even come close to feeling the pain and weakness in my hands and wrists I suffer through all day. You don’t see the bruising on my legs and arms from the anemia. You don’t see my feet and how it feels like I’m walking on pins and needles that are on fire from the peripheral neuropathy I suffer from.

You don’t know the brain fog or memory loss I’ve suffered from a rare neurological condition. You don’t know the multiple vitamin deficiencies I have because I can’t absorb vitamins like you.

It’s much easier to judge someone than to try and feel their pain. Saying “you don’t look sick” doesn’t make me feel any better about the health conditions I have.

Despite my health issues, the real struggle is learning to adapt to everyday life. The real struggle is my head telling my body to do something that I can no longer do.

The real struggle is learning that people are not always going to stand by my side through this difficult time. I’ve had more people than I can count walk out of my life because they either thought I’d hold them back in life or because I couldn’t physically do the things they wanted to do.

The emotional and mental aspects of health issues is equally if not more of a struggle. It’s a vicious cycle of health issues that worsen because of depression and anxiety.

Also, when diagnosed with health conditions, no one really tells you that you become a burden to friends. Or that significant others start to feel like you’re holding them back. That becomes a reality for some people and maybe not for others, but for the ones it does happen to, it’s a double whammy of shit you have to deal with.

Ignorance isn’t visible to the human eye either. Every time you tell someone they don’t look sick or judge a younger person for using a handicap sticker, you’re part of the ignorance problem so many have in this world.

You don’t know anyone’s struggle or what they’re battling at the time. It’s not your place to judge them or tell them ‘they don’t look sick.’ So many people are fighting daily battles both physically and mentally so who gave you the right to judge?

The next time someone says ‘you don’t look sick’, I will respond with ‘you don’t look ignorant, but looks are deceiving’. This is for all of my warriors who fight everyday to live despite the limitations we face. You all are the true warriors in this life.


Leave a Reply