Let’s Take The Invisible Out Of It

I Googled invisible illness. I know what they are. I live with them every day, but I wanted to see what the internet had to say about them. The internet offers up a basic and obvious definition – a chronic health condition with no outward signs of illness.

Well, duh. I know that. My fellow spoonies know that. Even the average non chronic illness sufferer probably knows what an invisible illness is. The average person doesn’t know it like a spoonie knows it.

I will always firmly believe there is no such thing as an invisible illness. Even though the very definition of invisible illness means a chronic condition with no outward signs of illness. I believe that we all just need to take the time to look.

Because of my MS, I have problems with balance. I often stumble and have difficulty going from sitting to standing, and will fall. Is that invisible? No. I have tremors that cause me to drop things. The mess that can cause certainly isn’t invisible. I faint easily, for a variety of reasons. That’s not invisible. My muscle jerks and spasms can be quite noticeable.

I have cognitive difficulties that mostly cause me to seem spaced out randomly, make me forget the words I need, and do things like put my house keys in the freezer. If you know me, those things aren’t invisible either. Take the time to look. It’s so simple.

But you, my healthy friends, co workers and associates, have blinders on. Most of you don’t, or can’t see the truth. Most of you have nothing but good intentions, but you don’t really see me. I don’t blame you, it’s hard to understand things from a perspective so different from your own.

So let’s take the invisible out of invisible illness. Notice me. Notice how I struggle to get up. Notice when I tremble and shake, or look weak. Notice when I seen exceptionally clumsy. These are signs of my so called invisible illness.

Notice me trying my hardest to push through all the pain and all the struggles. Pay attention. Even when you see me happy, it doesn’t mean that my pain isn’t there. It means that I managed to be stronger than the pain.

Invisible illness can be horribly isolating, even when you aren’t alone. It makes me feel invisibile. All I want is to be seen. Visible.

2 thoughts on “Let’s Take The Invisible Out Of It”

  1. My fiance has an *air quotes* invisible illness as well. I noticed her and fell in love with her regardless.

    I notice you too. I have read many of your posts and every one of them has felt profound. I am reflecting on the line you said at the end “Invisible illness can be horribly isolating, even when youre not alone.” I hate the idea that you or anyone can feel that way and if you knew me in real life I wouldn’t let you feel invisible.

    Dont stop writing.

  2. Very poignant Ellie!! I feel alone and of course go through horrible things in my head about why I always have to drive, call or text to communicate with friends or family. I want them to visit, call or text me since every physical step I take lowers my daily energy (spoons) and can cause days of pain afterwards.

    What am I doing wrong, that my friends and family avoid me like the plague, even my roommates? Perhaps we are not all on the same energy vibration and are simply bouncing off each other, but it can be very lonely.

    Peace & Comfort to you!! ♡

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