Makeup Isn’t a Cure for Chronic Illness & Pain!

Makeup Isn’t a Cure for Chronic Illness & Pain!

All of us who suffer with chronic illnesses and pain have heard it…“but you don’t look sick,” or “you look (or sound) so good or much better,” or my favorite one, “well you might be sick but you sure don’t look or act like it!”
In theory, we should take these phrases for what they are – compliments! After all, who wants to look or sound sick? But instead, what we HEAR through our filter of chronic illness and pain is…“you can’t really be in that much pain if you look normal,” or “sick people don’t look, sound or act healthy,” or “how can you be normal today when you were in bed all day yesterday?” When it comes right down to it, we end up processing all of these comments simply as “You are FAKING it.” What should be a nice compliment ends up feeling like skepticism and judgment.

Melissa Wardlaw

It’s no wonder “normal” and “healthy“ people don’t understand invisible chronic illnesses and pain. After all, we as a society have been conditioned – with messages from media, such as movies/tv, books and the internet – to believe that disabilities are only visible. When was the last time you saw someone in a movie who had a chronic illness or pain that wasn’t represented with a wheelchair, walking aid, oxygen tank, bandage, cast, blood, IV or something, anything that made their presumably invisible illness or pain visible? Never!

People with chronic illnesses and pain in media are also portrayed as looking run down, with no makeup, messy hair, unshowered, in bed, moving slowly and just simply unwell. Don’t get me wrong – many of us look like/are in this condition 50-75% of the time! But the reality is, when we attempt (i.e., force ourselves at a great cost) to get out of the house, whether it be to socialize with friends, go to church, volunteer or for some of us, traditionally work – we try our best to blend in with the “normals.” This means putting forth our best face (aka, social mask) and distract ourselves from the never ending chronic pain/symptoms we experience.
As opposed to “faking being sick,” instead we have to become masters at “faking being well!” When people see us out for a couple of hours here and there – smiling, laughing, talking and the like, it does NOT mean we are magically well; on the contrary, we are striving to get a much needed respite from the 24/7 physical and emotional stress we live in by focusing on something fun and positive. Simply put, we are trying to SURVIVE and THRIVE by making the most out of our situations – we are trying to live as opposed to just exist. It doesn’t mean our chronic illnesses and pain disappear just because we have painstakingly gotten ready, put on a nice outfit, “prettified” ourselves with makeup or decided to put on a nice (comfortable) pair of shoes! In fact, these seemingly minor tasks and activities healthy people take for granted come at a huge price for those of us with chronic illnesses and pain. And little do they know all of the accommodations we have built in when we do venture out. But I digress…
Healthy people who have never experienced chronic, life-changing medical issues will never understand just how difficult it is to try and fit in. We are trying to carve out some normalcy out of the crappy hand of cards we were dealt. It takes so much strategic preparation, rest and recuperation just to appear and act “normal;” but it helps us greatly to feel like a person again – if only for occasional short periods of time.
Having an invisible chronic illness and pain is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, we don’t “look sick” on the outside for the most part. Most of us can temporarily blend in with society, which is great for those who don’t want to talk about their illnesses or have a “pity party.” On the other hand, we also want people to know what we are going through 24/7 and not judge us if we may have fun and “appear healthy” doing it! Just know we are actually far from healthy and just seeking compassion, understanding and support through our journeys.
So the message to healthy people is: of course we don’t want you to tell us we look sick – in fact, we appreciate your compliments! We just want to be recognized for the incredible strength we have, sacrifices we make and understanding that just because our chronic illnesses and pain may be invisible to you, we’re always struggling with them – despite being “beat to the Gods” (aka, wearing a full face of makeup) to help cover up our suffering. In conclusion, makeup isn’t a cure for chronic illness and pain, but it sure can make us feel better about ourselves! After all, who doesn’t want to feel pretty?
Thanks for your support!

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Authored by: Melissa Wardlaw

Melissa Wardlaw was diagnosed with CRPS/RSD as a result of a spinal cord injury (non-paralyzing) suffered during a routine medical procedure. She also suffers from fibromyalgia, lumbar and cervical degenerative disc disease, migraines and additional chronic medical issues. Formerly a Business Executive/Consultant with an MBA in Entrepreneurship, she is also a Certified Career Coach and Certified Professional Resume Writer, and now spends her time career coaching and offering peer counseling/advocacy (pro bono) to those dealing with similar medical struggles. As a fierce advocate, she also runs both in-person and online support/empowerment groups for CRPS/RSD and chronic illnesses/pain in the Metro Atlanta area. A “fur mom” to two cats, Melissa is an avid volunteer and supports multiple organizations committed to rescuing animals and helping those with chronic illnesses/pain. She can be reached at crpsatl@gmail.com.

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Margina Olivas

So very true! I have to put makeup on everyday just to make myself feel better, but behind this mask I am hurting, people just don’t realize it, I don’t flaunt my pain like some people do and that can be very deppreseing! I have lower back problems, I have scietic pain in my left leg that can be excruciating and hard to walk plus I have arthritis but I try to make the best of it

James McCay

My situation fits Cynthia’s 1st paragraph post EXACTLY. Very sick at age 34, now 52. Always looked 10+ yrs younger than I am, etc.

I HAD TO use a wheelchair to leave my house for 2-full years (2009-2011). But a doctor said “TRY not to use the wheelchair and use 2 canes if you need to, but if you don’t get out of the wheelchair; YOU NEVER WILL!”. He was right.

I forced myself to not use the wheelchair. It took a good year of using canes and practice to learn to walk again, because my muscle cells DO NOT REGENERATE (Myasthenia Gravis).
I even ignored that diagnosis and went out more than I should thinking “Maybe, if I exercise more, some muscles will strengthen.”. BAD DECISION! I had more falls during that month than ever- bruised all over. But I had to try…

Every 3-months there’s a LARGE Sports Card Show in Westchester, NY (an hour drive from me). Due to the hobby expertise I picked up after 32-years & learning only from THE BEST (that I used to donate cards to sick children until 2009 & the LAST SHOW I could go to) I made $2.000-$5,000 profit at each show for 4-6 hours of buying & re-selling on eBay.

This could have helped greatly when NY just CUT-OFF my Medicaid in 2011 (that I had for 8-YEARS) w/LAME excuses! This was factually caused by NY preparing for Obamacare’s cuts to NY’s budget. Many thousands SCREWED!
All the fighting I did to get MY MEDICAID back from 2011-2017 was FOR NAUGHT. I’ve been a Democrat in ideals my entire life, but these NEW Left Democrats are all MORONS! It would have been nice if ANYONE would have said “Medicaid is CUT-OFF to you” and I would have quit. They only admitted that by 2018!

Out of desperation, I went with a friend to the Westchester Card Show on 8/17/19, but had to use my wheelchair. IT WAS A VERY PAINFUL 3-HOURS, but I’ll profit $800.00 easy! I still can’t walk… don’t know when I can. This is the level of desperate decisions our states have FORCED US TO! This is ABSURD & is the Dems. fault!

Pamela Gibb

Again, thank you for your help with this resource to turn to.

Cynthia

Perfectly said! I have been fighting my battle since I was 30 years old – now going on 50 in November – I have always looked younger than my age and have always taken pride in the way I look. I was raised to present myself tastefully and respectfully not only when going in public, but particularly when going to appointments where others are taking their time to meet with you, A.K.A. doctors, lawyers, friends, colleagues, disability judges….
I am sure you all can see where I am going with this….the saddest part of my situation is that not only did I not get disability based on my age and how I looked, but my primary care doctor that I am forced to see ( because no other doctors where I live would treat my pain and I had to resort to taking Suboxon. – admitting I am an “addict”) refused to support my petition. For disability because – and I quote – ” you are so beautiful and smart, and I refuse to back up your claim for disability. I would be doing you such a disservice if I did”.
Well 6 years later and the back up of my ENT, and neurologist, I am still unable to work and have no more appeals in terms of receiving disability. I am forced to live off the kindness and generosity of my family – without them I would not be here period. The most sadistic part of my journey so far is that I still have to see that doctor, whom still believes he is treating me as an “addict” and not pain management, and just went through major surgery on my ankle and that surgeon also believes I am an “addict”. In fact, I am posting this from my bed, one day out of surgery, in excruciating pain because of course since both my PC and my ortho think I am an addict, and I am allergic to nsaids, I am only allowed to take my regular dose of Suboxone. Believe when I say I do not have the strength or energy to present myself as I would like anymore – and that is the worst part of it all – judging books by covers – will it ever end…..
Great article, completely relate, thanks for listening….

Lisa Hess

Living in chronic pain for 24 years is bad enough but I always hear “you look like you are feeling better.” My reply is “makeup does wondrous things” and that usually leaves those folks speechless. My husband used to get furious with me because I would always tell the truth when someone asked how was I feeling. He would day “why don’t you just tell them you are fine?” and I always answered the same, “because I’m not fine and if they didn’t want to know how I’m doing they wouldn’t ask. All of my close friends and family know my how sick I am and it’s a very rare day when I’m ok. I tell them I’m ok.” When we were out to a party and someone brought up the subject of their painful illness and they wanted to know “how do I manage it being in so much pain all the time?” I tell them about medications because after 25 procedures and 5 spine surgeries nothing else works. My husband hated that too because he thought someone would come into my house and “rob my medications.” Because we no longer had children and rarely had visitors I would keep just keep my meds hidden, to keep him quiet I bought a safe and keep my medications in that. My daughter has called me an addict to my face because she saw me one time frantic that I dropped a pill on her shag carpet. That really pissed me off. She forgot that there were 5 dogs in the house (3 of hers and 2 of mine) and that’s why I was so frantic to find the pill and no other reason. When I said that, she shut up. People who know me know I rarely go out anymore, even more so now since my meds have been cut more than 75% since January 2019. Now like someone else said, if I’m not wearing makeup to just go to the pharmacy I keep my sunglasses on.

Amy Lewis

Looking at the comments your article struck home with many of us. Our medical problems and careers are quite similar Melissa. I often wonder if I should leave the makeup off when I go to the doctor! I had the worst experience in 20 years last week at a new neurosurgeons office as all he would talk about was my pain medicine. He wouldn’t address any of the symptoms of numbness I am having. I’ve been so mad ever since.

Ariel Adams

Awesome article. If we keep writing and sharing, some people might get it. I am so sick of people telling me they understand and they don’t. And if you tell them they don’t, they get all bent. They think because they had a really bad pain for a day or a week and then it was done with, they understand. People trying to make you feel guilty or try to make them believe you that just because you look good (nice clothes, make-up) that you are really not ok and you won’t participate in their activity is because you don’t like them.

MorningStar

We all have masks that we wear depending on the situation. Party? Slap on the smiley mask. Family event? Slap on the ‘I’m happy’ ‘mask. Grocery store where everyone knows your name? Out comes the ‘I am fine ‘ mask. Every person we know has a mask made just to face them with, including ourself!

Living with cp is isolating enough. No matter how bad I feel I still say I am fine. WHY DO I DO THAT? It’s because I don’t want to be labeled a whiner or complainer, no one wants to talk to someone who acts like that all the time. I caught myself telling my daughter a gazillion times I was sore last month while she drove me 198 miles to My pain doc. I realized what I was doing and told her I was sorry to keep saying that. God bless her, she says mama you never comp!ain so I know you must hurt and it’s okay to bitch once in a while. Actually made me laugh and cry at the same time!

Signe Topai

I went camping, with a trailer and good bed, with my sister. When we set up our campfire, I used a well padded cot, pillows and blankets so I could comfortable enjoy the campfire. While enjoying the fire four campers came by. One lady yelled out, ” were you sent to the dog house? ”
Meaning, did I get thrown out of the comfortable trailer since I had a bed outside. I laughed and told her no, I have Fibromyalgia and the cot is for my comfort. To my shock, my normally supportive sister got mad at me and said, ” You don’t have to let everyone know you are sick!
Why can’t my family understand I have to over plan including bringing articles that help my pain and I can say anything I have to . Some people are so stupid and I have the right to respectful responde. Thank God my daughter gets it 98% of the time!

Steve

It is all about all the uncertainty of our future care, and the barriers to treatment with opioids. How much longer is this debate going to take? For some of us there is no treatment for our illnesses. How many surgeries, injections, and radio frequency ablations do I have to endure? When do doctors finally realize and admit that opiates are the only thing that helps. I “had to go in for a medication check recently cause it had been more than 3 months since I had seen my primary care doc. By the way Medication appts are a copay of $20. The office then made me come back 4 days later for another med check for a different prescription. Twice yearly drug screens cost me $150 a year.
The biggest anxiety I experience monthly is getting refills. First you have request a refill on their patient portal, then you get to wait for at least 3 business days for the office to call for you to come and pick up your script (if you are lucky). This office put me into withdrawal last year cause it took them 10 business days to process my request and to top it off the script was written for the wrong drug. To pick up your script you have to go to the office, have a copy of drivers license made, and get your signature to receive a written prescription, they will not send the script electronically for some reason. If it’s drug testing day, they hand you a cup, and all this occurs right in front of everyone else in the waiting room. Next, you go to the pharmacy and hope they have your meds in stock and find out what day your health insurance will let you fill your script. That’s a normal month, to travel out of state is another whole juggling act. I’ve been on 60 mme for 4.5 years, use my meds as directed, and pass all drug screens. Why am I treated like a criminal?

Denise Bault

What a great article! I wear sunglasses -all the time- due to hypersensitivity to light from a chronic, invisible illness. Beats wasting what energy I have putting makeup on and then having to use the remaining energy of the day taking it back off. I tell people, “You only see me for the short time I feel well enough for you to see me!” Sad, but true.

Toni Wallace

Thank you! You have expressed perfectly what I have tried to explain to my friends and family in the past, but it has never gotten through until recently. I always put on the brave face. I was always adventurous, never letting my gender or my age hinder me. Basic training at 30? No problem. Scuba diving certification? you betcha. I felt that there was nothing I couldn’t do with enough muscle, grit, and smarts. In my mid 50’s, the years of being invincible caught up. Back and neck surgeries, nerve blocks, etc etc. Capped with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and RA and now my life is a series of appearing normal when I can and surviving the best I can the rest of the time. The war on opiates hasn’t helped but I won’t get on my soapbox on that. When I had to cancel an outing at the last minute, they would always respond, “Oh, I understand.” But they didn’t. Not really. Until recently when I had to have hip replacement surgery and couldn’t live alone for a couple of weeks. Friends were with me around the clock, so when the worst fibro flare I ever had hit, I had nowhere to hide. They saw my vulnerability, pain, fear, and hope for it to be over quickly in all its ugly glory. Shaking from the pain, tears streaming down my face, but knowing from experience that the ER wouldn’t do anything, I explained this was my reality and I just had to ride it out. I felt ashamed that I couldn’t be stronger, expecting to see pity in their eyes and somehow a loss of respect. That’s what society makes those of us with chronic pain feel like, right? To my shock and amazement, I saw anger; at what I had to endure, that there was little if nothing to be done, and at the lack of seriousness with which we are taken by the medical community. The best thing to come out of that horrific twelve hours is that now they understand. When I have to cancel at the last minute, they respond “oh, do you need anything? I can stop by if you need help!” And they mean it. And understand.

Bruce

You look pretty hot if I do say so as a fellow pain warrior 😉! It’s funny, but as a guy, I feel the same way. I used to model a looong time ago, and I still put makeup around the bags under my eyes when I go out, which is the early afternoon for an hour or two when I’m up to it. I live in Vegas, so nobody cares. Everyone is vain out here anyway. I even lost weight. Still sick as hell with neuropathy and chronic fatigue. In bed 20 hours a day. I refuse to give in! Bruce

Maureen M.

HI Melissa, always great to hear from you! Yes, this is such an issue for us.
I live with Intractable spine injury related chronic pain as well as Systemic Lupus.
My Lupus flares up all summer.
Last week I had 2 friends in town (I live in Fla., they live up north).
Both illnesses were in a flare and I couldn’t go do a single thing with them all week long. 🙁
It also brought on emotional issues then.
So, one day they came by to visit me for just half an hour. 🙁
I had been in bed all day, was very pale and thought I looked like heck overall and felt embarrassed. So I put a little blush on to make myself (and them!) feel better. 🙂
I just sensed that they thought ‘she looks just fine!’.
I sat and blabbed on about my symptoms etc and why I couldn’t meet up with them all week and there was not a single expressed concern nor question from either of them about my issues. They just sat and stared at me.
I felt defeated and thought ‘I should’ve just let myself look like heck!’ LOL!
I used to put makeup on just to go food shopping or to the doctor but I’ve stopped bothering. Its all too much work. On rare occasion I will meet someone for lunch or dinner and put on a nice outfit and some makeup but…I’m in soooo much pain by the time I get there. But…I have to smile and fake it in order to make others feel comfortable around me. Its so difficult but its how we have to have some life in our life.
I love how you wrote ‘we have become masters a faking we are well!’ ha ha!
I tell people that about myself all the time.
Keep strong Warrior!!

Kate

Melissa has nailed it! Her issues are very similar to mine unfortunately. I can relate to this as most of us can. With Degeneration and spinal issues a good day is so wonderful I too try to pack as much fun or activity as able. It comes with great consequences for the following days. I fear that many other issues with health are being overlooked and allowed to fester once they see the diagnosis of these types of medical conditions. This grouping of symptoms unrelated is wrong too! It’s difficult to get the right care with chronic condition or a documented medical diagnosis. This seems to be evident in many of the shares and post. This type of neglect is only one of many things that these good days can mask too. Anywho, I wish everyone a great day or the strength to push through the struggle.

Cheryl Smith

Amen, all you wrote is all true. I have lived with chronic pain since 1995 following an auto accident. Several of my friends don’t understand how I look normal, but be in severe pain. I would love write a book about this to help people understand chronic pain daily life

Cindy

On a related note — when people ask “how are you”, I dont’ like to say” fine”, even though that’s the socially acceptable reply, since these days, so many people ask “how are you” instead of simply saying hello, and they really have no interest in an answer.

I’m old enough to remember when “hello” was used for “hello” — and “how you doing” was NOT used as “hello”, but if asked, was a question desiring an answer.

While I don’t want to sound complaining or whining, I also don’t want to give the false impression that I’m fine, since my pain is invisible and has had me on disability for over a decade, cost me my relationship, quality of life, and all the rest.

What do other people do when asked that horrid question which so many people don’t mean ?

Say “Fine” when in fact you’re in agony? Or give a real answer?

I so wish that people would think before asking a question that they don’t mean.

Cindy

This column really hit home for me. Since my pain began, I stopped wearing makeup and jewelry; even let my pierced ear holes close. Looks are a luxury when I can barely feed myself, keep my condo halfway clean, shower, etc.

I almost never look in a mirror. If I’m reasonably clean and wearing clean clothes, I consider that to be an accomplishment.

Even though I lie around most of the time and have zero muscle at this point, I’m still thin, and so frequently get complimented on how good I look. Being thin means more than anything else. It’s so bizarre. On days where I do look in the mirror and see stress/pain lines in my face, and I’m hunched over and can’t stand up straight, I still “look good”.

I’m lucky enough to have disability insurance from my last employer, and for some reason, after a decade, they’re conducting an endless review of my claim — it’s on month 8 and still counting. I wonder if they ever have a detective following me and have seen me at Trader Joes and concluded that I look fine.

At the beginning of my pain, I also had a private disability policy, and they hired a detective who, as luck would have it, happened to follow me on literally the best day I’ve ever had, when I drove farther than any other day, b/c I was looking for something at Home Depot, and had to go to another Home Depot. I felt pretty good that day, but after that exertion, didn’t move for several days; just lay in agony. The detective’s report also went on with lies about how I went to the beach and did all sorts of things.

I fought back hard, including contacting the state AG.
Point by Point:
“Going to the beach” was in fact having my BF drive me 10 minutes to a local lake and lying on grass for an hour. Was I waterskiing? Playing beach volleyball? NO. So, what was wrong with that?
And, the day I drove around — well, what was I doing after that? I didn’t leave my home for days and days.
Etc

I won my fight w/them but settled due to stress/fear of future detectives.

Rosalind Rivera

It’s so ironic that this writer has hit the bullseye right on the mark as she speaks and describes those of us in this never-ending and lost cause struggle. My family thinks and is very vocal in the same opinion of me. They feel and think in this exact manner of my so-called illnesses and constant pain. I’m sure that they believe that there is absolutely very little if anything is wrong with me. This at one time left me frustrated, angry and hopeless for most of my life. I then realized, not very long ago, that they are of absolutely no help or use to me in any way, manner or form so why bother feeling as I do? It doesn’t get me anywhere and certainly does not help my illnesses or chronic and intractable pain. I’ve finally let go and I’ve given up on them, all of them. I’m on my own fighting this existence in the few and only ways that I know how since the system is not of any help to me either!

Rosalind Rivera
Lucerne Valley, Ca.

Todd

Great post and true for both men and women except the makeup part. I remember when my young pain management doctor passed away from cancer and I had to go see another doctor at the practice. She looked at me and said “ you don’t look like you are in pain” I was shocked beyond belief because she has no idea about how much pain I live in everyday. She got a mere snapshot of me after I took my medication just to make it to the doctors office. I’ve tried 34 different therapies including lumbar fusion, spinal cord stimulators, stem cell therapy etc. in 30 years and only medication helps. I eat well, take every supplement known to man, exercise, and swim outside which keeps me tan and fit but she can’t see me flop side to side on the couch every few minutes or in bed changing positions all night because I am in so much pain. She began the dreaded taper that day. I should have never listened to them about getting a spinal fusion. My pain is much much worse since then but desperate people do desperate things and I wanted to be compliant.

Brian

If 0nly we could be swap bodys for a day let them no how we really are feeling inside

Martha

Well written & spot on. I feel like printing out your letter to use as a hand-out…on my “good” days! 🙂
Thank you for posting!

Mellissa, All so true! My doctor and I wrote a book together on just this ubject. Check out You Don’t LOOK Sick! Living Well with Invisible Chronic Illness. Many of the same themes and issues that you address.

Gail Honadle

Well said, just taking a bath you once looked forward to, but now have moved into your husband’s shower with a invalid seat for stability, requires taking a nap as it’s exhausting. Never mind putting on make-up, you aren’t leaving the house after all. Then their are the days you can’t find the energy to get out of your PJ’s. Cooking what is that? It’s all you can do to heat a can of soup or throw a sandwich together. That trip to the Doctors leaves you drained of energy. And once you start past 50 all the age related issues then start pilling up along with the ones from the drugs they put you on which are damaging your Kidneys. A drug ment for short term use, but is now long term enough so it destroys along with the Lupus doing so too. How long before you are taking Dyalisis? On Oxygen because your lungs are trashed by the disease. No you can’t see these things, but it is what we deal with 24/7/365 with NO PAIN MEDS.

Kelly

Excellent read, I remember going to see my Dr and he told me I looked really good. I didn’t know how to feel because it almost felt like he was telling me I wasn’t sick or in pain. I did thank him but said makeup helps lol. When I do my makeup it’s to help me feel better about myself when I look in the mirror. I have Fibro, Ostioarthritis, plantar fasciitis and diabetes so anything that helps me feel better about myself, if I can I will. Put your best face forward as they say but they don’t see me at home when the mask comes off. I think people would really be surprised because it’s like night and day, looking healthy vs how I actually feel.

Cheryl P

I totally agree with all you said. Every day we push to be as normal as possible.

Cancer#Fighter

Melissa you are a beautiful woman I must say 🙂 with that said as a Cancer patient I always hated that “look good feel good” class.. they give at chemo time and have make up the give you. I never went! I mean really? You’re so sick make up doesn’t get rid of pain, vomiting, mouth sores, skin irritations and the hundred other things..I feel you..

Claudia

Good morning from Chicago
.1st I would like to thank the Author Melissa for a great article… You stand corrected. I hear it many days .. I am sick of Defending and justifing …My Actions or myself .. I have CHRONIC pain should I stay in bed all day and die… I Fight I go and awake 8n chronic pain .. If I am out I can’t stand nor sit to long 5 neck 2 Major back surgeries with all the rods and screw s .. I fight everyday!!!! I stopped the Gym for a week because now I have arthritis in my back .. And now a herniated bulging disc L4 L5 S1 .And that was my 1st back surgery .. The pain is HORRIFIC I wear my back brace all the time .. I am back in the gym doing Cardio and legs which help for muscle s plus now in Physical Therapy… NOT FUN… I am a pain WARRIOR and I will continue to fight .. I AM staying away from any stress and negativity.. I AM DOING ME. RITE NOW .. A FEW ppl from my Pain pages understand .. But ppl will be like I am sorry . oh please .. They can’t begin to understand.. On wearing make up .. You feel good so you look good .. Vice a verse… And why not .. Morning s are my worst I sit having coffee for an hour or whenever I feel better esp..with this new on set problem .. BUT I WILL NEVER GIVE UP AND I WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT I STOPPED DWELLING 3 YEARS AGO IF I STAYED HERE I NEVER WOULD HAVE GOT HURT ..DO PEOPLE REALLY CARE? ESPECIALLY MOST DONT UNDERSTAND… THANK YOU ..MELISSA FOR THIS GREAT ARTICLE