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The Scarier Side of Invisible Illness


Earlier this year, my friend Leah and I had a late-night conversation about the realities of being young and living with chronic illness. That turned into a free-verse poem we wrote together, which then turned into the idea for this video.

When we first published this, it was really intimidating. We usually try to keep things light. We tend to downplay how hard living with chronic illness can be. We like to end things on a positive note. But these words? These words are blunt. These words are stripped down. These words are real.

Keeping things light, finding the positive and focusing on gratitude? That’s still real, too. It’s not all one or the other, and part of how we cope with our chronic conditions is acknowledging both sides. Since we can’t expect anyone else to understand that scarier side unless we talk about it, that’s what we decided to do. We decided to share the faces and voices behind our words. And we decided to invite some of our friends and/or favorite chronic illness bloggers to help us.

A huge thank you to everyone who helped us out with this project! We know it was out of a lot of your comfort zones (it was out of our comfort zones, too!) so we so appreciate you taking the risk anyway.

And a huge thank you to all of you who took a few minutes to watch this video. You’re giving us a voice, and that is one of the most meaningful things you can do. That’s one of the most important ways you can help us. We didn’t create this video for pity; we simply just want to be heard. So thank you for listening.

Read the free-verse poem on Spoon Shares. Follow Catherine’s journey on Finding My Miracle.