Psoriatic Arthritis Has Made Me a Liar
I’ve always valued honesty, truthfulness, and integrity. In fact, one of the reasons I married my husband is because of his unabashed ability to always be straightforward with the truth, no matter how painful or unpleasant that may be. But sadly, since my diagnosis the same cannot be said about me. Psoriatic arthritis has changed me in many ways, some for the better and some not so much. But one of the things that I hate the most is that it has made me a liar.
My face hides my pain
I don’t want people to worry. I don’t want them to see me as weak and I don’t want them to feel guilty because they can’t help me. So I put on the mask that hides my pain. The mask with the smile on my face lies. It says I’m okay. It lies and says my back isn’t throbbing. And that my fingers don’t hurt as I struggle to cut my own food. I smile and I laugh. I give a nod or a wink, but usually it’s a lie.
My words are lies and my lips speak untruths
I hate that my disease forces me to make these decisions. My words say, “I’m doing okay,” or “I’m alright.” But sadly, this isn’t always the truth. The words come out of my mouth in bits and pieces, quick responses to try and change the subject. I want to move the topic away from my health and onto “safer” topics.
I intentionally push myself to hide my slow gait. I pay attention not to limp or favor my left side too much, lest someone notice. Not because I’m vain and not because I feel that I will be judged. Nope, those couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, I have the most supportive family humanly possible. But I do it because I love my family. I don’t want them to have to see my pain.
I wish I could be honest
In the end, I wish I could be honest. I wish I could say how much it hurts, how much I’m in pain, how difficult some days are for me. But I just can’t give that burden to those I love. I can’t expect them to know what to do with it, any more than I do. I can’t expect them to be responsible for taking away the days of pain, nor is it fair to expect them to even try. If my lying protects them then so be it.
Why do I choose to lie?
I lie because this isn’t their cross to bear, it is mine. I lie to protect everyone else from the pain I feel inside. I know I should be honest and in many things related to living with psoriatic arthritis, I am. But if it doesn’t open the lines of communication, if it only serves to cause unneeded strain on my relationships, then what is the point?
So I will carry this cross, every single day. Even if it make me a liar.
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