By putting on the brave front, not talking about how we feel, delaying taking our pain meds and so on, we're doing the equivalent of trying to "pass."
I remember Whoopi Goldberg's routine about the little black girl with the "long luxurious blond hair" that had tried to sit in bleach to turn her skin white. I thought it was one of the saddest things I'd ever heard, next to my friend Karen's daughter not wanting to go to school when she was little because she didn't want to get assassinated like Martin Luther King.
You're right, I find myself wanting social acceptance from my healthy friends and not wanting to be such a drag that they avoid me. But some of them are avoiding me anyway so my efforts at minimizing and hoping for a cure and being good haven't earned me much. Most of the time I think I ought to be able to endure pain better as if I could earn some prize for doing so.
Thanks for the reminder! I'm sure just being myself will take less energy than aiming for some kind of saintly, silently suffering persona that bears no resemblance to me. Goddess knows energy is in short supply these days.