By Kirstie –
There’s no mold or “norm” for what people with an invisible illness should look like. People living with an invisible illness look like regular, everyday people. They look like me.
For many people with an invisible illness, they often hear the famous phrase, “but you don’t look sick.”
Most people, when faced with someone who is sick, are used to seeing physical signs of the illness such as people in a wheelchair, the appearance of being too pale or passing out, someone having a seizure, and more. But for people with invisible illness like Lupus, Bipolar Disorder, Migraines, PTSD, Fibromyalgia, or any other invisible illness, you often can’t see anything physically wrong with them. This goes back to the Spoon Theory, which we talked about a while back on the blog.
So, what does sick look like for people with invisible illnesses?
Invisible sick looks like spending hours, or sometimes even days in bed recuperating just from being too worn out after doing something as simple as doing laundry or getting groceries.
You can’t see my brain fog, digestive issues, muscle weakness, or sensitivity to light, noise, and odors.
Having an invisible illness means planning out your next day in detail the night before, only to wake up and realize all of the things you needed or wanted to get done that day aren’t going to be done due to your invisible illness pouncing on you.
The majority of people with an invisible illness know all too well of their nickname — “lazy.” Some people with chronic invisible illnesses spend most of their days in bed due to the severity of their disability, while others are able to have full schedules and high-functioning lives, most of the time appearing normal to the outside world. I force myself to have as much of as a “normal” life as I can.
As someone with an invisible illness, I have come to a conclusion that there are a few things people should be mindful of when meeting others. You never know what they do on a day-to-day basis, or how someone feels, mentally, or physically.