(The first time I posted this, it was shared on Medium.com, but I wanted to be sure to get it up on the blog as well.)
It’s easy to be a person on the outside, making assumptions. I get it. I’ve been there and am still there to some extent. We see what’s in front of us and formulate our beliefs based on our observations. It makes logical sense.However, when we judge the surface without understanding what’s going on inside, we fail to grasp the full picture.
EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I have other people make observations about how I look and then formulate opinions about how I must feel.
They then go on to tell me how I must be feeling based on my appearance. Some days, they are correct, but a majority of the time my outer shell doesn’t begin to express the pain beneath it.
Because I truly believe that most people are well-meaning, I try to brush it off. But, it’s not that simple. The neurological symptoms of Lyme have left me with crippling anxiety and depression. I get so anxious about what other people will think that I sometimes lie to myself and to them; I tell them I’m feeling well because those are the words they already put in my mouth. I submit to their opinions because I don’t want to be judged for still being sick.
This eats me up inside as I face other guilt because as a person of faith, I believe in honesty. I don’t want to pretend, but it feels like those around me want to put me into a box — a box I cannot seem to escape.