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3 Ways My Invisible Illness Makes Me Feel Like the 'Beast'

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I grew up with the the cartoon version of “Beauty and the Beast.” I have watched it countless times. “A story old as time,” or it seems that way when it was out before you were born. It wasn’t until the live action version of the movie came out that I was able to fully connect the dots of how I can relate to how the Beast feels.

1. Everyone see him as a monster, not who he once was.

When you are sick, it seems like no one remembers who you used to be. It is always who you are now, and how the disease defines you – even though your disease doesn’t define you.

2. No one saw him, only his condition. (Until Belle.)

Whenever there is something about me that draws attention (wheelchair, cane, etc.),  it seems as if people only see what is “wrong” with me. (And I know I’m not alone in that.) Or if I tell someone about my illness, I suddenly become the illness instead of me.

3. No one believed that the Beast existed at first and Belle’s father was dragged away for insisting he was.

Many people who struggle with invisible illnesses are shut down by friends, family, and medical professionals when they try to seek help. We are Belle’s father, being “dragged away” because no one believes us when we tell of the Beast living inside our bodies – whether they’re mental or physical.

I never realized how much the Beast and I had in common, and I hope it helps bring awareness to invisible illnesses.

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Thinkstock Image By: Ekaterina Vihoreva

Originally published: June 21, 2017
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