Do you ever feel like you are living very different lives, depending upon who you are with or what you are doing? If you have a chronic illness, invisible illness, or are waiting to be diagnosed, feeling this way is not uncommon.
Experts refer to why we live different lives depending on circumstances as compartmentalization. Typically, people will put various aspects of their lives into separate compartments to manage the stresses that come with the challenges of their lives. It's okay if you are guilty of doing this, I know I do it all the time.
When I am in my element or zone, I tuck my illness into a corner as best I can and ignore it. For those moments, I am blissfully pretending to be as well as anyone else.
When I feel safe, I allow myself to examine and explore every aspect of my life with this illness. Depending upon who is with me, I may be anywhere in between those two compartments.
If you are remotely like me, once you put something into a compartment, you leave it there untouched until you next reach into that space. This practice is fine for material things.
What do you do with your feelings? Do you hide your anger because you know people who have things worse than you? Do you pretend everything is okay because you don't want people worrying about you? Maybe you feel guilty about how your illness impacts other people in your life. All of these feelings are normal.
It may not feel natural to you, but sharing these feelings by talking about them, is important. The more you stop hoarding and hiding these emotions, the easier it is to break down the compartment walls and find a way to live a full life regardless of your health.