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I Wish I Hadn't Taken for Granted the Days When My Illness Was Invisible

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Those words… “But you don’t look sick!”

The bane of many a sick person’s existence. Invisible illness. No one understands. They can’t see it so it’s not real to them. It can be really upsetting and invalidating.

Well, it used to be upsetting to me.

Now, as my health continues to worsen, I wish I still didn’t look sick. It’s starting to show. My invisible illnesses are becoming visible. It’s hard. Because people who don’t even know me will make comments. Friends and family look at me with worried eyes on the days when my outer shell shows the pain and sickness of my inner being.


Now, when I have days where I look a bit healthier, even if I don’t feel any better, but I’ve puffed up so I don’t look as skinny and I’ve put on makeup, a fake glow, I’m so grateful. It eases the worry on my loved ones’ faces. They breathe a sigh of relief. They tell me how happy they are that I’m looking a bit better. It gives them some peace. All my loved ones know I will never “get better,” so I don’t need to crash on their relief. I celebrate with them that today, I look a bit healthier.

Yes! How wonderful is this?! I look good today!! It helps my self-esteem. My confidence is boosted and I feel more like my true self.

When I don’t look sick, I don’t have to explain to complete strangers what’s “wrong with me.” I don’t have people being extremely personal, when they don’t even know my name.

It’s nice. I’m glad when it happens now, and I took it for granted in the past and complained about not looking sick. About others not understanding.

Now, I’m so happy for the days I have when I don’t look sick. When I feel pretty. When the only talk of my health is when I bring it up. Funny how life can change your perspective. I love looking beautiful, young and healthy. If I’m going to feel awful, it’s nice to at least not look it, every once in a while.

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Thinkstock photo via Andesign101.

Originally published: June 15, 2017
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