We Are the Invisible Illness Warriors
We are the warriors. The ones who pour over our medical histories the way other people pour over gossip magazines. Pointing to salacious details, judging each and every thing we see before us.
We are the warriors. Who know more about our conditions and illnesses and bodies than most doctors do. We’ve turned to medical research journals and the internet to learn as much as we can because we often have no other choice. We become experts because we have to.
We are the warriors. We may not always look sick to others, but we are. We fight each and every day against a society that often won’t label us as sick because there isn’t a visible identifier for our illnesses.
We are the warriors. We have probably had to grieve countless activities or foods or hobbies because of our struggles. We will still lose more along the way. We will have to grieve those, too.
We are the warriors. Some of us have had to give up our dream careers because they just aren’t as feasible. Maybe we have had to change our expectations about what working with our disabilities will look like. We fight for accommodations and against workplace discrimination. Maybe we have lost the ability to work a full-time job altogether.
We are the warriors. We have lost friends or family or both because they just didn’t understand. Maybe they didn’t believe us. Maybe they didn’t want to or even try. Maybe they were mean. We had to grieve them, too.
We are the warriors. We are the ones who fight each day to accomplish the little things sometimes. Fight because sometimes sitting or tying our shoes or making the bed seem like insurmountable tasks that cause so much pain.
We are the warriors. We are called lazy or fakers or liars; sensitive or selfish or drama queens. These words hurt. Unfortunately they often become so common we become good at dealing with it. It hurts, but we learn to handle it to survive.
We are the warriors. We band together and raise one another up and support each other because we have a strong bond. A bond formed due to unfortunate shared circumstances. A bond that can form friendships and relationships in an instant. There’s no replacement for someone who “just gets it” — even if it’s hard to know because they’ve been in the same pain you’ve been in.
We are the warriors. The warriors who don’t give up. Don’t give up despite the fact that it is easier to give in, despite that not fighting for a diagnosis, or treatment, or truth is so much easier. We keep fighting. We keep advocating.
We are the warriors. We are stronger than they think. We are stronger than we think.
We are the invisible disability warriors – bold, brave, and powerful.
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Thinkstock photo by LanaBrest