Friday, October 28, 2011

Mask or Me

As most of you know living with chronic pain conditions allows us the opportunity to hide behind various masks of normalcy. This months ChronicBabe Blog Carnival topic is about what's behind the masks we wear. I've been thinking about who I am under all this...

I don't entirely know for sure. I often feel like the chronic pain has a way of confusing things, making mud where once things were clear and calm. I used to have a pretty good sense of who I was and what I could manage. The ugliness of my pains are a constant challenge and it has rocked my sense of self to the core.

I'm fairly certain that deep down the me I used to be is still alive. Every now and then I see her fight her way above the ugliness for a moment or two but, inevitably, the ugliness wins over and she is again obscured in the mud. Like all of you, I pretend like I'm a normal person and honestly it helps me to feel more normal. But under that I feel like this chronic pain IS the mask I wear. Unfortunately, it feels like it is now stuck to my face.

I fear that this mask is going to become me. That one day the woman underneath will no longer exist alone. Perhaps this fear is unfounded and the day will come when I figure out just who I am now that my life has changed so dramatically. As for me, right now, I just don't know what is mask and what is me. But I do I am afraid. More afraid than I often am willing to admit to myself. Afraid of the permenancy of this chronic pain and what it will mean for my future.


  1. I appreciate your sincerity and honesty in this post. Chronic pain certainly makes everything "clear as mud." It's hard to hold on to who you are when chronic pain is constantly dragging you down like quicksand. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. That's so true. So true. I feel that the boundaries between the 'real me' and the 'sick me' are so unclear. Half the time I wonder if the real me even exists, or whether she's just a figment of my wishful thinking.

    Thank you for expressing all this so eloquently!

  3. I just want to echo the above - you've managed to express the fear that I have that I've been aware of, but not been able to pin down. I'm terrified of getting lost down here inside / under the pain. I don't want to be it, but some days it feels a very big heavy task! Thank you for writing this and helping me realise I'm neither alone or mad!