I have what experts call chronic illness(es). All of them are conveniently invisible too, for added fun. They include autoimmune diseases, anxiety, blood clotting disorders, and genetically high cholesterol, to name a few. My medical record is a novel and these invisible illnesses have affected my daily and each in their own awful way for many, many years.
The thing about the illnesses that many of us walk around with is that you can’t see them. They aren’t obvious to the outside world, and man, do we work hard to hide them. We don’t want people to see us the way we feel.
Exhausted, angry, in pain, frustrated.
We want your understanding but not your pity. We need to vent and we need people to understand, so we find a community of people like us.
In reality no matter the chronic “invisible” illness, we all have something in common and can help each other make the best out of the life we have because WE STILL HAVE IT!
We are alive!
We can support each other and work to change the stigma and judgment surrounding looking “fine”!
When you are out to eat and someone asks what here is low carb or gluten-free, don’t ask if they are in a diet because this is their life.
If someone says they are exhausted, ask if there is anything you can do to help.
Be there for each other.
I never felt the need for a community before my diabetes diagnosis. I managed my other invisible illnesses without any type of support. I just powered through. When I found a community, I didn’t know why I hadn’t found one sooner and was so grateful for these people who were sharing in what I was going through. People Who understood!
We are in a great time for communication if we use it the right way. You can find your community and you should! Find people who understand your daily struggle, people who will listen, people who will lift you up in times of need.
As with most chronic illnesses, you don’t see the pain, the frustration, the sadness. You don’t see the difficulty to get out of bed some days or the struggle to look “normal” when out with friends or family. Behind the scenes, we are just trying to survive and be happy.
Keep on keeping on to my fellow chronic illness sufferers! We got this and we’ve got each other when the days are roughest!