A touch of this, a dash of that. A careful swipe followed by a swirl until it’s all blended together. A lesson in decorating a cake? Hardly. Just another sad attempt on my part to disguise the red patches across my cheeks. Oh and highlighter or brightened to hide the dark marks below my eyes.
Some women wear makeup to enhance their looks. Others as a form of battle paint so to speak. Me? I use it as camouflage, as part of my quest to look normal. I mean who wants to see flaming red cheeks, dark circles under the eyes and exhaustion walking around among the healthy? So I try to blend in.
Some days I’m a little better at it than others, but of course it’s never fully successful. I mean you can’t hide the pain and exhaustion lupus brings. You can’t hide the limping from sore joints and sometimes thinning hair cannot be artfully arranged enough to hide the thinner spots.
Make up never hides the turning down of invitations at the last-minute. The apologies over and over again about how I just can’t do x right now. Make up and clothes can’t hide the last-minute cancellations or having to leave early.
But still I try. Because it’s important to feel normal, to be normal. Although why I’m not sure. Because normal varies from person to person. Because lupus is not, nor will it ever be, normal. Nor should lupus ever be normal…healthy should be normal. The same can be said about cancer, chronic illnesses of all kinds.