I remember Kim posting something to herfinal project blog about how her CFS was such a hidden illness. How you couldn't tell by looking at someone whether they had it or not.
And I remember thinking, 'Huh. I wish.'
Because this is the face of me with CFS. I don't know what others look like, whether they hide it well or just don't have photographic evidence of them selves when they look like this.
But more often than not. This is my face. This is my face after 10 hours of sleep. After days spent doing not much more than some design work and reading in bed.
It may well be that I inherited my dark eyes from my father.
And you may not believe me when I say this is me not looking so bad. Had I not had 10 hours sleep or such a relaxed timetable, I would be looking much worse. Much more like I had done ten rounds with a award winning boxer.
When people say they wish they could go out without makeup, that they wish they weren't so dependent on it, that they wish they didn't get their self esteem from it, or use it as a mask.
I immediately think to myself, well shucks. How nice you get the chance to think about that.
I don't use makeup as my crutch. As my self esteem. I try not to take any of my self esteem from outward appearance truth be known.
But if I do not wear makeup. This is me. This is the truth of my condition. The truth of it's all encompassing, hold over my body.
I would rather not be told all day long how tired I look. Some days it is impossible to hide. I have been passed on that lovely compliment whilst wearing full make up. But on the days I can pretend to be normal, on the days I would like to pass for your average 26 year old, make up is my only way to do that.
I don't judge myself anymore. It is a necessity.