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The Little White Lies I Tell as Someone With Chronic Illness

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You think you may know all there is to know about me. But I have to be honest now and tell you the truth.

You look into my eyes and you think you know what is there. But there is so much more that I hide that you just wouldn’t believe is true.

woman laying on her couch

After a long day you ask me how I am. I will be sure to tell you, “I am just fine,” for that’s easy for you to hear, even if it’s a lie. Even if everything inside me hurts more and more. I feel weak from the exhaustion. Dizzy from the constant tachycardia. I drank so much water that I should be peeing for a year, yet it only helps my blood pressure some.

You see me always smiling for it’s become my shield of strength. For it’s so much easier to look at the happy things and stay focused on that than the truth of thinking about just how my body really does feel.

I am not a negative nelly, and I promised myself I never would be. I fill my head with personal development daily just to adjust to what has become reality.

I cry every day now, not because I am depressed, but because this has become my body’s release to let me know that it’s OK for me to feel.

I push through exercising at least five or six times a week for 30 minutes a day, even when I feel like I am dying from the chest pain. It’s hard to get through it when the dizziness and numbness take over everything I feel. Some days that 30 minutes of exercise may be the only thing I can do. There are days that 30 minutes of exercise takes me an hour to complete due to the constant breaks I have to take, because my body is just so weak. But I know I have to, for my health needs me to keep being stronger than I feel.

When I wake in the morning, I hear my first alarm sound for me to start chugging water so my feet can hit the ground. I drink and drink till those 64 ounces of water are gone. Then I doze in and out of sleep till that second alarm rings on. That second alarm rings and for a second I pretend that this is all a dream – it can’t be this kind of day again.

As I stand for the first time each day, I feel so many symptoms hit in a moment. It just takes one step to activate everything all over again.

Some days I may not shower or look my best…for it’s just too exhausting to use my energy to do all of that. I don’t let myself get stinky so I feel that’s good enough. I know I look rough but please understand the amount of energy I use with every single step is a marathon most days.

I don’t always keep a clean house, keep up with the laundry or keep organized. And having to sit there seeing it brings tears to my eyes. I want to do it all, but I know I just can’t.

For this day and every day I have to choose what to do, for my energy is limited and I have to stay focused on what brings joy to my life.

My kids are growing right before my eyes. I do as much as I can for them. And they are always so thankful. My babies compassion for me and for life shines through each day. And they just lay with mama for they know she can’t go anymore that day.

I walk my babies to the bus each day. It’s not far at all but I can barely make it most days as I am at the end of the driveway bent down to the ground, praying silently I don’t faint one more time before the bus picks them up. The kids wave and blow me kisses as the bus drives away. And in that moment I feel so blessed to have them and I know it’s going to be a lonely day.

I walk into the house each day with two beagles wagging their tails. I grab my coffee and back to the couch I go. For I know it’s Netflix and rest for me until I can try to work up the energy to do another thing that day.

I work my online business for a bit, though not long at all, for some days I just can’t focus and my vision feels gone. I check into my challenge groups. I am thankful for them because it keeps me going in life to have the empowerment and people around me just a click away.

I make time for Facebook each day, for it’s my way to the outside world as I am in these walls most days. It took a big change to go from being around people all day at the hospital at my old job to where I am today. I am at home and that’s where I stay, and it’s not that I don’t want to go do things…I just don’t have the energy to pay.

I make special plans from time to time, prepping for it for days ahead… for just that few-hour event may take my body three days to recover, for it just took too much from my body to try to act normal.

I come home and fall apart to rebuild myself up again. As the moments are passing by I sometimes forget what day it is, for each day seems the same.

I set reminders now, for my brain just doesn’t soak up the information as I feel it did once upon a time. So please, if I forget something try to understand I would never do anything to hurt you – I just forgot today.

I feel overwhelmed sometimes when we are in public for there’s just so much around me that I almost feel ashamed. I don’t want to faint in public or have anyone see just how different my body is now that chronic illness has hit me.

When I say I am tired, please know the truth. I just need to stop fighting my body and regroup.

They say my illnesses are invisible but I won’t let that be true. I share my life with others, for it’s my voice I have to share and I have to take care of what is important to me.

I enjoy spending my special moments helping others I am working with online as well as the rest with my family. This has become my purpose to push through this all.

I have found humor in things that may not seem funny to others but somehow are to me. Laughing about it has become my way to be. It may not be funny to those who don’t understand, but if you saw though my eyes for a moment I know you would know just where I am coming from.

When I have those days where I feel like everything in my power has been taken from me, you may hear me snap. I lose my shit too, for I am still human and all. But I know things are just things. I have learned that money means nothing if your health isn’t here to stay. I see this now more than ever and it’s still hard to adjust to each day. I feel guilt from my high medical bills when I see them come in the mail each day. I see it all pile up and I know one by one we will make them go away.

I have big dreams ahead of me that feel exhausting just to think about. I know they may take more time than I thought, but that won’t make me give up.

This could go on and on I am sure. But in another blog post – for I am sure there are more to come. 

You see, it’s not always black and white like you may think. But I ask you to love all of me for me. I am not broken, though it may seem that way. I am honestly still just trying to adjust to my life and rebuild it around my illnesses.

I have been telling you little white lies along the way and I ask you to forgive me today. I guess I just never wanted to tell you because I don’t want pity or “I am sorry”s… I just want warm hugs, kind voices and love around me, and for people to try to understand that I am not the same me I used to be but I will always be OK.

I know some say illnesses feel like a curse and I do understand that view. But I don’t want to view it that way. I want to just keep trying each day to embrace all the things in life that I can enjoy each day. Quality of life is a priceless treasure; this I know is true. It’s just that I am still adjusting to this. Even though it’s been three years, it still feels so new.

Please take the time to try to understand what you can’t see, for each person like me might have their own white lies they tell…but if you listen closely I bet you will know the secrets we hide each day.

Regardless of how my life is different today from what it once was, I am one blessed wife and mama with happiness on the way. For each day is a new adventure for me with chronic illnesses always being a part of me.

This post originally appeared on Heart Happy Fitness.

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Originally published: May 5, 2017
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