Thursday, July 1, 2010

You Look Sick

I'm sure in teen circles the term "you look sick" would be considered a complement, but coming from my former husband, I interpret it to mean "God Michele, you look like death warmed over". To be honest, I'd prefer to be caught in a slammin'outfit, hair done and flawless make-up. Mainly because I would prefer that he left my home saying "Wow she looked good, maybe I should have never left." Now this is truly my own unrealistic fantasy within my twisted head, so please excuse my temporary delusional thinking.

Today was one of many typical POTSy days (nausea, dizziness, fatigue). So I'm in my sweatpants, old t-shirt, hair sticking out in every direction, no make-up and I'm an odd shade of green. I hear a knock on my door (I'm thinking it's probably a salesman and I'll scare them away with my green tint and a kind warning that I may puke any minute), I open the door and to my surprise it's my former husband. He takes one look at me, steps back and says "You look sick, is this one of your bad days? I nod, invite him in and we have a polite visit. As he's leaving he does tell me he's sorry that I'm feeling so bad, and heads to his truck. To give him some credit, I did get the feeling he felt badly for leaving me to deal with this illness alone. I now look at his decision to leave as a good one for both of us. I know I would be worse off if I had to deal with the stress of a one sided marriage.

How I appear to others has always held some importance to me (now I'm very average looking but enjoy trying to look my best). Having POTS has altered my thinking about appearance a bit. I still try hard to look my best, even if I feel awful. I don't know what I'd do without my liquid foundation, it can conceal just about anything! I use to get a bit upset when I was feeling very sick and people would complement me on how good I looked and that I didn't look sick at all. After someone would tell me I didn't look sick I'd have this secret internal dialogue shouting back at them, "can't you see I feel awful". I now take the sentence "you don't look sick" as a complement of the good job I'm doing to hide how awful I'm really feeling. Not looking sick takes the focus off being sick (which encompases just about every waking minute for me). It helps me focus on conversations about others and away from my illness.

I'm also learning that if someone catches me on a really bad day, and I look as sick as I feel, that that's ok too. This new comfort in appearance is extending to my obsession with having a neat and tidy house. If I'm not up to doing the dishes, and there's a stack of dishes on the counter when a friend comes over, who cares. I don't change my opinion of them if they have a few dishes on their counter, so why get all Susy home maker on myself. Life is too short to be so hard on myself.

Still inspired,

P.S. I sitll don't get why the former husband just drops by my house unannounced, and I've never once desired to go to his. He left me, so why does he keep coming back?

1 comment:

  1. Maybe he feels guilty? I don't know but that was the thought that entered my mind.

    I agree that life is too short to be real hard on yourself about things that aren't a big deal such as letting the dishes go once in a while. Though that can be very difficult to learn because we (people with chronic illnesses/pain) try so hard to hide how we feel it can seem like leaving those dishes on the counter (for example) is telling people we don't feel good. For some people, the need to be in control of something takes over and since they can't control their illness/pain instead they do their best to control the world around them (keep the house as clean as possible, etc.).

    Dealing with a chronic illness/pain is difficult enough all by itself, but all the additional mental and emotional stuff that pops up makes it even more challenging.

    I think you are doing a wonderful job Michele and I hope today is a better day for you!