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Why I Sometimes Hide From the Super Cute Healthy Moms

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I see you, super cute mom. I do. I see you rocking those new highlights and those trendy clothes. I see you volunteering at the school party and preparing to sweat it up at the gym. I see you heading out for coffee with friends and making your Pinterest-perfect crafts. I see you enjoying your “girl’s day” at the nail salon and kicking butt and taking names at work. And, yes, I also see you see trying to start up a conversation with me and “Wondering if our kids might get together for a playdate?” And, yes, I am hiding from you.

Super cute mom, it’s not you, it’s me. I mean, clearly you are awesome. But right now, you remind me of everything I’m not. Your in-my-face awesomeness can be a little bit painful for me at times. Don’t get me wrong: I love to see you playing your note, doing your thing. It’s just that my life looks so very different from yours, so different than I thought it would. And sometimes, it feels impossible to explain.

Remember a couple of years ago, when my youngest started preschool? You saw me in my pajamas at drop-off and thought they were work-out clothes? In your defense, I suppose most people do actually wear them for yoga and not sleeping. Anyway, you were so sweet and chipper, with your invitation to join you for your kickboxing class at the gym. I mean, wasn’t that where I was headed, after all, the gym? But remember how I was actually headed back to bed because chronic illness runs my life and that’s what I did every day after drop off? Oh, but remember how I didn’t know how to explain that to you, so instead I just awkwardly declined and hid from you for the rest of the year? Super cute mom, I promise it’s not you, it’s me.

And super cute mom? I see you at the kid’s appointments, too. You’re everywhere — in your polished, professional clothes or workout gear, so awake, alert and present. I know you wonder why I look so bedraggled or if I’ve even brushed my hair today. Super cute mom, I’m embarrassed to say, the answer might be no. Sometimes it takes all I’ve got to get us out the door. Sometimes I’m counting down the minutes and seconds until this appointment ends and I can go back to sleep. I’m sure you’re lovely, but I’m just too tired to make conversation.

And, yes, your kid is awesome, too. I bet she would play great with my kid. But I don’t know if I’ll be able to drive next Tuesday. It’s up to my body. She’s the boss. The beach? Well, yes, I used to love the beach. But, my body can’t handle the heat or the distance now. I’m sure another super cute mom would love to go with you!

Oh, and super cute mom? I used to be one of you. I wasn’t always like this. And maybe that’s part of why I’m hiding from you.

Follow this journey on Chronically Whole.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability, disease or mental illness, and what would you say to teach them? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: May 24, 2016
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