What Do You See When You Look At Me?

Originally posted on SparklyAura.com

Written by Kristen Estep

Before chronic migraine if you saw me out in public, you might have looked at me & thought I had it all together. I probably would’ve had a smile on my face, my hair done, dressed nice. “It doesn’t matter how you feel, it only matters how you look” (Lyric from Miranda Lambert’s song Mamas Broken Heart). That is the public persona that has been ingrained into me my whole life. You only show your best face, whether it is fake or not. You do not discuss your problems or hardships in public.

But since chronic migraine, I really just don’t care/don’t have the energy to care. You will, on most days, see me in comfortable clothes, hair not done & minimal to no makeup. The old me wouldn’t be caught dead in public like this. I just can’t care, I’m usually in too much pain to care about the so called perfect, put together Kristi.

Although people don’t seem to notice unless they look closely, I am completely self conscious about my face not being symmetrical since chronic migraine. Most days half of my face has some type of swelling and my eye droops on the side my migraine is on. I also never used to wear my glasses in public, I always had my contacts in. Since chronic migraine, I am in my glasses most of the time. One plus for this is that glasses help to conceal some of the facial swelling. You may think I’m vain for being concerned about this, but I can’t help feeling this way.

Ok, so let me give you some insight into what you cannot see. I have lost all of my ambition. I spend most of my time on the couch or in my bed. I beat myself up mentally because I need to be up and doing instead of just being a lump. My house is in disarray, I know that things need done I just don’t care anymore. This is not the real me! The real me was on top of everything & my obligations were always taken care of.

My greatest fear is that because I’m so undependable, people will give up on me. I tell myself that I am not good enough all of the time, which I know this isn’t true, but can’t stop the soundtrack in my head. This applies to work and personal relationships. I hope people won’t give up on me. I hope they realize that I am trying my best & even if I can’t keep commitments I still love being invited or included.

I have a few invisible illnesses which people may or may not know about because I do not discuss all of them. I never wanted to bother people with my problems before so I stuffed everything down deep and put that smile on my face.  I just can’t do that anymore.  Although, I always worry that people don’t really want to listen to my problems.  I really don’t want your pity, I just can’t keep pretending anymore.  I will just say that what you know about me is only what I choose to show you, but there is so much more.

I have a problem with letting people into my life. I guess that I feel anxiety because I know that I don’t stay in contact, not because I don’t want to it’s just that most days I can’t. I have a tendency to disappear when my depression is hard to deal with or when I’m in pain. But I sink in deeper when I disappoint everyone by disappearing. It is a truly viscous cycle and I guess that I feel I am sparing you the trouble of being disappointed by me. So I just don’t let people in.

Another fear I have is being judged, for my illnesses, the way I live my life, my views, my past and my present and superficial things also. I am very far from perfect even though I may try to project that image. You may not understand this but these are some of my worries. I live in my head most of the time replaying conversations and situations over & over. I feel like my brain never shuts off.

To be truthful I don’t have close friendships, which hurts my heart but is probably also my fault. I don’t really go out or do things & I don’t have people over to my house. It’s not that I don’t want to do these things, I guess it’s fear of being rejected and fear of being judged. So I always have a barrier up, which is very detrimental.

I am hoping to work on these fears & focus on the future. I may not be my best self right now but I am trying to overcome these obstacles.

Thank you for reading this! Maybe it will give you insight on why I am the way I am, but maybe just maybe, we are similar.


2 responses to “What Do You See When You Look At Me?”

  1. You might have lost a few people but you gained a family 💜❤️💜


    1. Kristen Estep Avatar
      Kristen Estep

      Omg, thank you! I love you guys💜❤


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