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“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. 

  • Washing 
  • Ironing 
  • 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’.

You may also be interested in –
What is Chronic Fatigue??
Managing Pain Without Perscription Drugs
How to help children with anxiety/depression

18 thoughts on “Living With An Invisible Illness”

  1. I don’t have an invisible illness so I can’t relate. But I really appreciate these posts as they open my eyes to those that do and help me going forward. I’ll definitely make a point of asking those who do have invisible illnesses how they are more often. I’d never dream of saying any of those things to people though – as someone who’s suffered from a pretty extreme anxiety disorder in the past, I know how annoying those type of things can be! (Albeit differently if it’s an invisible illness) Thank you for this xxx

    1. Mrs. Slee-Jones

      Some people are just plain nasty when it come’s to this sort of thing sadly. Anxiety is one hun, and it’s defiantly a hard one!! Sending lots of love xxx

  2. I totally feel this. I had plantar fasciitis for a year, which was living with chronic pain in my case and it was awful. I wrote all about it on my own blog, but definitely these are conditions that no one really understands unless they’ve lived with them. I was lucky enough to heal my feet but there was a point where I thought I’d living with the chronic pain and invisibility of it for my entire life. Thank you for sharing, it’s so important people become more aware.

    1. Mrs. Slee-Jones

      Sorry you had to go through that, chronic pain is awful no matter where in the body you may be having it. Noproblem at all, I hope it’s helping everyone not feel so alone xx

  3. Ergh it can be so, so shit living with an invisible illness. No one believes you because you ‘don’t look sick.’ Hell, it was only today that my boss said ‘I didn’t realise you lived with anorexia and fatigue. You do that shit every day?!’ after a year of working with me. He had no clue and because I didn’t voice my concerns, he just thought I didn’t go to bed at night.

    Great article!

    1. Mrs. Slee-Jones

      I hate the comments like that, I think a lot of people don’t think about what they say to others and that’s so frustrating!!

  4. I can’t imagine having to live with an invisible illness! One of my work friends has kidney problems (though luckily had a kidney transplant at the end of last year), and she would have to cancel all sorts at the last minute. I think being understanding that they’re not doing it on purpose is so important! Hope you’re ok!

    Katie x

    1. Mrs. Slee-Jones

      I’m so glad your friend got a transplant. A friend of mine from school has had 2 or 3 but keeps rejecting them after so long. It’s so important to having people around you that understand x

  5. The mental energy it takes to have to deal with these kind of comments and perceptions must be exhausting. I know this post will help those who may need further understanding of what it’s like living with an invisible illness so thank you so much for the effort you put in here.

    1. Mrs. Slee-Jones

      It honestly is. It creates a wall inside you to eventually stop opening up up anyone. Thanks so much, as long as I can help others I’m happy to share everything!!

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