I’m an imposter—at least I feel that way. I’m afraid. Afraid people will label me as a fraud and recent experiences have only reinforced this fear. But I can’t live in fear and I realize that fear is part of my problem because it creates the very feedback loop currently trapping me.
You see, my body is a mask and like wearing a mask, my body tells one story through its appearance when underneath, another, very different story is playing out. As a result I am constantly torn by the outer worlds feedback that I’m normal, while my inner world is crumbling, unable to cope with a myriad of symptoms that ravage my systems, invisible from the outside. And yet, again and again I’ve caved into the outer worlds story line, giving into the fear that if I stand by the truth I experience people will just call me a wolf in sheep skin. We call them like we see them here in America. What ever happened to “don’t judge a book by its cover.
But I’m done. I can’t pretend that I’m okay when I am not. Because pretending reinforces that I’m an imposter. But this is not a fake it till you make it scenario. I can’t fake the symptoms away. I may look fine but my reality is that
I haven’t digested food for weeks, resulting in malnourishment.
That I have a migraine piercing my brain like being stabbed with an ice pick on top the skull.
That I feel that prickling sensation, like when your foot falls asleep, all over my body for days.
That I spend nights staring at the ceiling hoping I’ll sleep but never do.
and so many more…
I’m an iceberg, you see one tenth of my reality. My pretty face, blond hair, blue eyes and trimmed physique. You do not see when I have to call family to pick me up. No, I don’t me give me a ride in a car, I mean literally carry my collapsed body. Or the days where the only seat I see is the toilet. Ain’t that a pretty picture.
I recently realized that if I go along with the outside worlds story I betray myself and I give permission to the world to disbelieve me. But my reckoning has come. I’ve felt the consequences of pretending “I’m okay”. I lose. So I’m going to tell my story because honestly I’ve already lost and what happens when you find yourself at the bottom. You realize the cavern you thought existed, the one you feared and actively worked to stay away from blinded you from the actual one in front of you. The one I’m at the bottom of right now.
So that’s it. I’m baring it all. Letting that facade crack so you might have a glimpse of my disability. I’m vulnerably speaking my truth and hoping that despite my pretty face you’ll have the courage to believe my words because I know that you too are more than what you appear to be.
Hi, I'm Liz. I like to write about life and the wisdom I cull from it. I use words and images to inspire empathy and connection with each other and the world.