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The Award for Best Actress Goes to…

Has your diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis turned you into a seasoned actor or actress? Mine has! Forget acting classes, I have learned more about the art of acting from my chronic illnesses than any workshop could teach.

Now showing

Whether they realize it or not, everyone in my life has witnessed one or more of my performances. On a daily basis, I play the role of a woman trying to survive in a broken body. Sometimes I play the role of a “normal” wife/mom at the grocery store. The smile on my face hides the pain I experience with each step or minute I remain standing. Props, like a shopping cart give the illusion that I am just like everyone else. People have no clue that I am actually using it as a mobility aid in order to keep my balance. Even when I am riddled with pain, I can convince others that I am fine and dandy with my expression, tone of voice, and choice of words. I can laugh while I am crying on the inside. One act I probably shouldn’t admit to but am going to, is the one where I appear to be engrossed in a conversation yet haven’t heard a word the other person has said because my brain was distracted from pain. The act I most deserve an award for is the one in which I feign interest in the cockamamie ideas that people suggest I do to heal my body.

Limited engagement

The downside to my new skill is that I can only pretend for so long. My performances are short and sweet. Some days I can pull of an encore or two, but not often. This is one reason I limit and space my social outings. Acting like a normal person is exhausting!!! You may be wondering why I bother pretending that I am okay or normal when I am clearly not. The truth is that I acknowledge that I will never be normal again, but that doesn’t mean that I have to deny myself moments of normalcy. A thirty minute performance in the grocery store may not seem like a big deal, but those few minutes of pretending my life didn’t include physical pain are priceless.

I would like to thank…

I would like to thank my husband, children, mom, and friends. Not all of them realize it but they are actually supporting cast members and I would rarely be able to pretend to be okay if it weren’t for their roles. The assistance and support they provide help make my performances award worthy. Just because my husband drove me to the store doesn’t mean that my performance of “normal woman shopping” was any less stellar than the woman in front of me at the meat case who drove herself.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.