Looking normal while suffering from chronic pain.

All I want to be in normaal

Mirror, mirror all I want to be is normal.

Looking in the mirror at myself, I’m intent to make myself look at “normal” as possible today. Normal to me is someone who has a chronic illness or suffers from chronic pain but on the outside, no one can tell. There aren’t any huge scars informing others of the suffering happening on the inside. There is no signs of disease or lack of color to the face or partial amount of hair to show the world what is really happening deep inside of me

Wanting to be normal is a very common desire that one can have. Looking different is usually not something that most people want.  Of course, there are some that live to look different, mostly teenagers. But most of us suffering from chronic pain and/or illness would like to fit right it.  Not having scars or signs of illnesses can help us camouflage into looking the same as everyone else but deep inside we know how “abnormal” we are. Trying to fit in all the time is exhausting and stressful.  It can be exhausting constantly making sure that we are normal looking and that no one is noticing anything else.

Ways I Try To Look Normal when suffering.

After my last surgery, I use a cane for a few weeks for balance and strength.  I absolutely hate using the cane and how it makes me look.  Seeing the stares and the people’s looks on their faces wondering what is wrong with me. I try to take myself off the cane as fast as possible. It’s hard to do that when I have a disability tag for handicap parking.  Even on my good days, I need that extra few parking places to be closer to the stores.  I always use my cane because the last thing I want is for people to think I’m not handicap and I shouldn’t be parking there. So it’s the worst of both worlds, I don’t want to look handicapped, but I need to park in the handicap parking space.

What Makes Me Not Look Normal?

Why is it that we want to look as normal as possible while suffering from chronic pain?  Are we embarrassed that we may look a certain way?  Or is it that we have told our story so many times that we aren’t in the mood to talk about it again? I believe it’s a mixture of all three and maybe even more.   It’s between being embarrassed by how I look with a cane which makes me look a older that I am. Or that’s how I think I look.  And also tired of telling the same old story.  I am just not in the mood all the time to explain to complete strangers what is going on with my body. Then the possibility having them feel sorry for me.

Many times, I wish that I could run away when someone asks me what’s up with the cane. And granted, most people are nice about it. Some try to make jokes about it, but most of the time, it’s just plain uncomfortable to talk about this subject with strangers. Most strangers are as kind as can be.  I don’t believe that their main purpose for asking is to be mean.  I believe, or choose to believe that most people are truly concerned. But after telling your story so many times, it becomes boring, to even you.

Other things that come to mind when trying to look normal is trying to look your best all the time.  As hard as it is for those of us with chronic pain to “spruce” ourselves up on daily basis, it’s good for us to do it.  Not only are we then taking extra care of ourselves, we are showing the world that we can do it.  I know when I take a nice hot shower (good for my sore muscles) and get dressed nicely, I feel better.  I wrote a post about my grandmother Alice who I got most of my medical issues from but always had her “face” on to help her feel normal and fit in.  You can read that post and see a picture of grandma Alice,

I wrote a post about my grandmother Alice who I got most of my medical issues from but always had her “face” on to help her feel normal and fit in.  You can read that post and see a picture of grandma Alice, here. Things like that help her feel more human and look normal to the rest of the world.  Try it one day to see how you feel about it.  It just might be for you.

There are a few ways in which you can try to help look normal.  Also, I think we need to decide why it is that we need to look normal, to begin with.  And why is something we strive so hard to be? I think we answer that question and looking normal won’t matter as much to you anymore.  Being normal will be a thing of the past and won’t matter anymore.  After all, what is normal looking?






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