“You don’t look sick”
“You’re ALWAYS tired”
“I didn’t ask you because you’re always not well”
“Nobody can be bad like that all the time”
“You’re just being dramatic”
Sound familiar? Yeah, me too!!
These words get said all too often. When you wake up in the morning and you just know today is going to be one of those days. You know what I mean right? Well for those of you who don’t, let me explain…
Imagine waking up in the morning and your whole body is on fire. Every muscle burns, even the ones you didn’t know you had. You’re so thirsty and your glass of water is right next to you but even reaching for it is going to hurt like hell!! Your eyes feel heavy, sore, dry, like when you used to wake after a night out, back when you were ‘normal’ when in reality, you’ve slept for hours it just still isn’t enough. And there it is.. ‘The Hangover’.. the one you get even though you haven’t been out drinking. That nausea lingering at the back of your throat making you want to wretch and throw up but it’s not going to go, it’s still going to be there in 6 hours’ time so better get used to it!!
You lay there mentally noting all the things you have to do today.
- Last nights dishes!! (I wasnt feeling so hot last night either)
- Get the kids ready for school
- Feed the dog
Let’s face it, the list just goes on and on.. meanwhile, all we want to do is curl up into a ball and sleep hoping that it will all be gone when we wake. That’s the reality of a morning for most of us with these ‘invisible illnesses’. Except for us, they ARENT invisible. They’re very much there, in our faces like a demon that can’t be exorcised away. Latched on with every bit of strength it has, making us feel less human every day.
I often sit and think ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ ‘Why me?’
But the truth is, I’d rather go through it than anyone I love to go through it! I’m a great believer in “everything happens for a reason” but it feels like I’m still waiting for my reasoning day to come. As a child I’d pray for the most stupid things as we all do, I’d go to Sunday school and read all about Jesus. Yet now I can’t help but think, if there is such an almighty God, then why does he let this happen to me? Does anyone else think that?
Does anyone else hate it when people say..
“Oh you look like the old you today!!”
Like when did I become a ‘new me’?? I’m still that same person I was before I got so sick, I just can’t do as much as I used to! Being ill doesn’t determine who you are as a person. But it does determine what you can and can’t do each day of your life. That bit I HATE!! The frustration builds up inside me until it feels like I’m going to burst!!
We all have a winge and a moan, and even though sometimes I just want to give up, I cant. Sometimes I don’t want to take any more pills or go to ANOTHER hospital appointment. But then I see my parents, Husband and children’s faces and I know I have to. They’re my ‘Happy Thoughts’.
It’s just like Peter Pan say’s. And they really are my happy thoughts. They give me the wings I need to fly through this madness that life has thrown at me. Without them, I’d sink to the bottom of the ocean into my darkest of places. But with them, I can do anything.
So next time you’re having ‘One of those days’ just take 2 minutes to sit and think of your very own happy thoughts. You never know what it could be or who they could be. But it might just be the thing that gets you through the day. Because in reality, we cant always sleep it off or rest up because life still goes on.
But if you’re reading this and you know someone who has an invisible illness, next time you see them, whether they look great or look crap, ask how they are. Not all of us have the courage to tell someone how bad we really feel, or the effort we have gone through to meet up with you that day. So no matter what the answer may be, don’t judge them or tell them they look tired/sick or even normal!! Just be a bit more compassionate to what they are dealing with. And if you make plans and they cancel, don’t be mad. They really wanted to come, whatever the reason is they are feeling low enough without someone making it worse. Just don’t forget to invite them next time, even if they usually say no. Being thought of can make someone feel a lot better and a lot more ‘normal’.