What do you hide behind?

Here me out right, why do we (or I feel like I definitely do) feel the need to hide our illnesses? I mean please tell me if it is just me, I want to overcome this. I want it to be normalised. It doesn’t make me less of a person that I have Multiple Sclerosis, multiple lesions in my brain and difficulty walking continuously. It doesn’t make me any less of a person. I know this, I sometimes don’t tell myself this but I DO know this.

I’ve only told a handful of people about my condition and I’m not saying I should be stopping every Tom, Dick and Harry walking down the street but why do I hide it? I’m an advocate that it doesn’t make me who I am but it is a part of me and it does mould a lot about me. In my new job I know all sorts about people’s back ache and hip aches and when someone has a cold or feels sick but yet the only person that knows I have MS is my manager. I make an effort to walk without a limp when people are around and I never complain about not being able to feel my left leg, to a point that no one knows there is anything wrong.

I don’t want sympathy of anyone or to be continuously checked up on, but I do want it to be normal to discuss. Yet here I am, discussing it with barely anyone.

Is there advise to this? Does anyone have any tit bits to share with me?

I do hope that one day it will feel normal for me to discuss having ms, feel normal to go out using my walking stick without feeling like people are looking at me like I have 5 heads – what makes it worse is that I do know other people really don’t actually care but it is sooo easy to feel paranoid isn’t it?

  1. Sharing is caring and all that
  2. Invisible illnesses should be normal
  3. I should not feel like I need to hide

Apologies for my very short posts at present, haven’t been feeling 100% but promise to try get back at it properly ASAP!

H x

18 Comments

  1. I think we all eventually come to a place where we accept the fact we got saddled with this and it’s part of who we are. My biggest hurdle was the cane. I hated the idea of using one in public, but I hated the idea of falling down in public worse. After that happened for the first time, a cane didn’t seem so bad by comparison. People have a hard time handling the sight of a grown adult falling down in public.

    I fortunately didn’t get this burden until I was close to 50, so it must be especially hard for you. All I can say is reach out and stay in touch so you don’t feel so alone. Having a sense of humor about this is vital.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are completely right! And I do think most people don’t even notice really! The worst thought for me was “if I need a cane at 23 what will I need at 33” but I do think that’s just true fear kicking in which made me refuse to use it at all as more of a refusal to admit a problem.
      Thank you very much Steve! I really appreciate it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure Hannah. I was the same way but I bypassed the cane and went right to worrying about the wheelchair. The truth is that my worrying about it will only make that day happen sooner. So I try not to obsess, but some days are easier than others

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Hannah i used to hide the fact i was visually impaired as i was terrified of bullying and discrimination. it got to a point were i could no longer do so and i had the courage to eventually open up to employers and co-workers and besides the usual anoying questions it is such a weight lifted off your shoulder! Although it has effected my career and ability to get promoted my life is just so much better and i even laugh n joke about it now and i think people feel more relaxed around me that i can do that. i understand fully how you feel but people generally are better than you expect at being understanding xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah it’s so amazing you’ve reached a point that it’s better to share! I definitely think I’m getting to that point but the fear of judgement is so strong but you are right it must feel like a whole weight has just been lifted! Thank you so much for this, it’s so nice to hear a story from someone who has been brave enough to open up and it be successful! Xx

      Like

      1. Thank you! yes it does take a lot of courage but i look back now and think much happier i am these days i used to be very different! You will get there eventually and learn a lot from the experience too. just take your time and open up when you feel ready ♡ x

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it just takes times. I hardly told anyone for the first 2 years. Looking back it was me worrying what people would think and also me not really accepting that I had ms. I do still get abit nervous telling people but I’m much more open about it now. It’s definitely nicer to share with others (most of the time) but I think it’s just doing it when it’s right for you. 🙂xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hid my MS for the longest time not because I was ashamed, but because I had something to prove. I wanted to show that MS doesn’t look like wheelchairs, pain, or wasting away. It can mask as healthy, active people as well. I wanted people to be surprised by my diagnosis if I told them and hopefully change their perception of the disease.

    I am less about that now, I think because of my blog, but I still want to challenge people’s beliefs about MS. It isn’t a death sentence and it can affect anyone.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to hide it – especially at the beginning. I think it was my way of working through my own feelings and once I came to terms with it I was able to be more open about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right about wanting to change people perspective on it! That’s definitely something I’m after too
      I think I keep convincing myself that like “right I’ve known for 6 months I should be over it now” thinking it’s ages but it really isn’t at all! Thank you for this 😊😊😊

      Like

  5. Hi Hannah – I completely understand how you feel. In some ways, having obvious symptoms (I need to use crutches/ A scooter) makes it a lot easier, as the choice is taken away from you and it means that you often have to tell people. All I can say is, after being ‘open’ about my MS, that it is so much easier not to have to pretend. People are aware of my limitations but they don’t treat me differently because of it as far as I can see, if anything it has led to greater understanding. All the best, lovely 😊 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think it’s the judgement that comes along with revealing things like MS. That suddenly we aren’t seen as the people we are but the illness we represent, the burden that it carries. Hang in there and hope you start feeling a bit better xo

    Liked by 1 person

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