As a a person who lives with chronic illness I have a very different life than most people I know, yet I may not want everyone to know that when I'm out in the real world - beyond waiting rooms and hospital beds.
At a workshop for a project I was working on last year I heard this marketing mantra:
"Everything communicates. Always."
And it made me think differently about a lot of things. What am I communicating through my clothes, my walk, my language? I don't want to communicate that I'm a sick person, or that people should feel sad for me or help me. I'd rather be either anonymous, or communicate joy, strength and humor. Sometimes I wear "power-clothes", that make me feel stronger than I really am, sometimes I wear a T-shirt that says "fragile, handle with care". I often choose to wear something quirky or slightly funny, when I'm actually feeling down. It cheers me up, and cheers others up too... Making other people laugh usually makes me feel better.
Even when my life is filled with chronic pain, I don't have to be invisible. Today's pain free tip is to dare to be different.