Why I Rarely Discuss My Health When Socializing

When I go out, I want to have FUN. The last thing I want to do is talk about my pain or health. So I put on a happy face when socializing with friends and family or I downplay my pain level when asked how I am feeling. But do you know why?

I am more than my illness

I don’t want my close friends and family to only think of me as the sick gal. I know that may sound silly from someone who calls herself The Disabled Diva, but that is only one portion of my life. I am also a mother, wife, daughter, and friend. Believe it or not, I don’t always want to discuss or think about psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, endometriosis, or fibromyalgia. Social outings provide a much needed distraction from the drama that my conditions whip up daily. The problem is that people begin to associate those who are ill with their illness. This is fabulous for advocating, but not so much when trying to build new relationships. I don’t want to scare people off by only sharing the worst part of my life. To allow my friends and family see that I am more than my illnesses I have and will lie. By saying that I am okay even if I am in excruciating pain, I have the opportunity to express other interests, talents, or skills. I don’t want to be known by friends and family for what I can’t do, I want to be associated with what I can do.

They can’t handle the truth

The truth is that most would not be able to process or understand how someone lives with chronic pain. It’s one of those things that until a person experiences it they have no idea just how really difficult it is or how much planning and preparing goes into each outing. If they really knew what it was like they wouldn’t ask me out or encourage me to try new things. My happy face spares them from my pain and me from their pity.

This girl just wants to have fun

It is not that I won’t ever discuss my health while out having fun. I recently spent an hour discussing one of my conditions with a stranger at Disneyland because what I had to share was going to improve her vacation. Had this person wanted to only complain about her condition I would have wished her a magical day and rolled away. I don’t get out of the house every day, but when I do I want to make as many magical memories as I can. Those memories are what comfort me when I am stuck in bed while my body is flaring.

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