Instagram isn’t very honest.
We all know it, but we still let it pump our heads full of perfect pictures of perfect sexy people living their gorgeous Insta lives.
I’m actually jealous of my own profile pictures! I wish I could be bothered with painting that make up on and smile on everyday! Put it this way, I have a lot of dress down days you guys don’t know about. (I may have made your stick wearing my pyjamas…ooops just saying!)
A friend once called her daily ritual as putting on her fighting red lipstick. It’s her costume, it’s our armour, it’s how we’re going to deceive the world today. But why bother? Is it wrong to fake it til you make it? What if you do it long enough and the act becomes a reality, then it stops being deception, it just becomes your new state.
I believe in this, and I think I have become pretty damned good at it. So it still really shocks me how it chips so easily, how a crack appears, and then the entire armour just falls away, revealing little old me still struggling and fighting to live in this able society every day. So what makes it crack then?
Absolutely bloody anything!
Unfairness mainly, it makes me so mad. When I am treated differently, indifferently, badly, patronisingly, rudely…You all know. It happens to you too. I am trying to live in a world that isn’t designed for me.
I can’t get up kerbs in my wheelchair and I just say it’s ok I’ll go another way.
The toilet in the restaurant is downstairs so I say it’s ok I won’t drink anything, instead of I’ll just pee right here on the marble floor then Mister.
I park in a disabled spot and someone bangs on my window asking me why.
Or the old favourite, ‘what happened to you then’ and I’m expected to tell (in tasteful soundbites) my tale of infection, amputation, loss and disability to a perfect stranger, and then crack on with having a nice day. Byeeeeee.
What I’m saying is I’m not honest either. Some days are crappy but I don’t talk about them. Some days are painful but I don’t show you the tears. Some days are depressing but I don’t show you the blank face I wear. Some days the loss is too overwhelming but I don’t show you how I stay asleep so I don’t have to deal with it. I bet a lot of this sounds familiar to you. Please tell me if it is.
My brutal honesty is that after having my leg amputated I walked really well for a long while. But since then more shit’s happened, I’ve grown older and I can’t anymore. That’s tough for me to admit because that’s me essentially saying I doubt I’ll walk again.
Yet catch me on a positive day and I can say walking schmalking, I don’t need two legs to do what I do and live how I love. I ace it with one leg, from a wheelchair.
On a positive day I know I’ve achieved so much since my amputation, and it doesn’t end there. I’ve got a lot more to bring you and I’m not stopping anytime soon. I want to be someone who speaks out about the unfairness we live with, but I need to be someone who isn’t afraid to say what they’re feeling because they’re afraid of the reaction it might get. I have lots of words, some of them have four letters, and I’d like to share them with people who previously haven’t given a *four letter word*.
So I think what I’m saying is some days I can tell the truth, just like you can. Be patient with me while I find a way to do it more often. I don’t want you to think i’m superhuman, I certainly don’t think I am. I just need to find a way to show you my weaknesses, without you seeing that I’m also weak. I’ll find a way.
You know the crap I’ve been through! Cos I tell you! I’ve never tried to sugar coat it cos I don’t know how cos I got no filter really! Down again with a heavy cold ( no immune system so this is frequent) daughter asked how are you today, I said I sound like Barry White!
Better to be Barry White than Jimmy Kranky.
You cheer me up more than you’ll ever know. Just those little laughs we have make my day.
Imagine my surprise when I opened your email and saw my photograph hahaha!! Shocked!!!! I’m definitely not a sexy person on insta of anyone who uses filters etc so I guess I’m advertising the normal looking fab rainbow coloured person lol
I can’t explain to you how much I appreciate your honesty, I felt this deep in my soul… I often joke that I’m catfishing my own profile because that’s me .5% of the time but that’s not reality… Since my back surgery last year it seems like it’s done nothing but make things worse, and I find myself stressing about my future because I have no idea what kind of mobility I’ll have… How do I plan for the future when I don’t know what to realistically expect??? It’s scary and stressful and some days I struggle to change out of my pajamas too… I guess I’m just saying you are not alone and you’ve helped me by reminding me I’m not alone either… I’m grateful to have found you and your amazing company
💜 Thank You 💜
I feel like short term plans motivate me and taking a year at a time is realistic for me now. I don’t know the answer, but feeling free to share the crappy stuff is good for our mental health. It’s good to know we’re among friends. Xx
A brutally honest and raw post. Well done. I also feel like I need to be more honest. I spent much of my life pretending and people pleasing. Hiding behind a mask and protecting others from the ‘ugly’ truth. At what expense? The expense of my own mental health. It’s such a fine line. You want to still be seen as healthy and strong. And you are strong. But you’re tired and exhausted from fitting in. With people and a world that has such high expectations of you. And one that doesn’t always give much back. At least, not when you need it the most.
I’m my own worst enemy. I know that. But I don’t want to have to beg for help or understanding. I want people to bloody notice.
I trot this out all of the time. At medical appts, school, random strangers on the internet..
Awareness is great, belief is better. And support requires both.
(Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Autism and Menopause are a heady cocktail to deal with together)
Stay strong x
Four letter wordies make up most of my sentences some days!
Amen , thank you for having the bravery and insight to write this. Because So many people need to realize, as you said: Instagram isn’t real…at least most of the most “glamorous” photos of ourselves are all you see. Not daily reality… More people need to read & see this!…
Thanks for your post Lyndsay, it really touched my heart! As all my friends and family are abled, it’s difficult for me to feel me really understood when I struggle.
I especially felt the part when you said “fake it until it comes reality”. I have done the same, put on my smile and go out to the world, and it has worked for long periods when I’ve really felt that I succeeded, that I love myself. That feeling of “I’ve overcomed, I won”. But then, as you said, a little crack coming from who knows where, makes you go so so back in time.
In my case I became disabled at 12 and I’m 39 now, still young too but definitely due to aging, walking has become more difficult, more painful…. Well it’s bloody hard because this made me go back to a state of mourning and also fear of not knowing when it will be so hard for me to walk that I need a wheelchair. Don’t misunderstand me, I love wheelchairs!! ☺️ But it’s the feeling that, being also disabled, you could walk and so some things pretty easily and with the same disability, with time you can’t.
I really think that as life, this is a circle where we get to really love ourselves, our lives and really enjoy, but it’s normal crack sometimes. It’s not going backwards, it’s part of the process. But well, when those dark periods come, they’re very hard.
Thanks again Lyndsay, for your post and for your sticks, that make my life so easier and make me feel proud of walking with a stick!
I’ve just found you on insta. I love your sticks, I currently use a blue Smart Crutch. The other day, on my lunch hour at work, I popped into my regular coffee shop. I was telling the server, how I was working until 9pm.
His reply…….. should you be working. I was slightly confused & he waved vaguely in my direction of my crutch.
What with your bad leg, he says. I was utterly flabbergasted! First off, it’s my foot! 2nd, my brain still works!
I haven’t been back since. Should I be insulted? No one has ever said that to me before. I still feel a bit cross