I live with 4 invisible illnesses: systemic lupus, myasthenia gravis, PTSD & depression. It's ironic that I like that my illnesses aren't obvious but despise some of the effects of the lack of visibility.
There are many parts, in fact most parts, of my life that I'd like to remain 'normal' despite illness. I like that people can have a conversation with me without thinking about the fact that I'm sick. I like that people can get to know my personality before they attach my illnesses to their 'assessment' of me. I even like the fact that not looking sick allows me to help myself when I'm able to. There are times when I'm hanging out with a good friend who knows I'm sick but isn't thinking about it because I feel great that day. I looovvvve that!
But what about when I'm not feeling so great physically? What about when something said inconversation triggers my PTSD? What about when I do need help completing a task?
That's where the visibility issues come in. Now I have to verbalize something that's not obvious. Now I have to convince someone that the person that ran 2 miles last week can't even hold the phone up to have a conversation with them today. Or maybe I have to refrain from going to the mall because the crowd will cause me anxiety this particular day.....meanwhile 2 days ago I was a social butterfly.
My first invisible illness, lupus, surfaced 10 years ago. But it's still hard to cope when people don't believe I'm sick.
Do people think that I need to make up illnesses to get their attention? Or maybe I want special privileges when I'm with a group of people.
No, none of those things are true. But, unfortunately I am really sick.....