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Choosing to Be Visible in the Face of Lyme Disease

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By Mikayla Vacher

One of the hardest parts of being chronically “invisibly” sick revolves around image. I have been sick for over 10 years now and yet if you were to pass me in the street, you’d never have a clue of the challenges I face day in and day out. People don’t seem to comprehend that you don’t have to look sick to be sick. Illnesses come in far too many different forms, and for me, it’s on the inside.

My body has been slowly killing itself but physically you’d never know. I am a petite, 20-something-year-old that some may call fit or even beautiful, but goodness do I feel harshly different. I have learned that with my image of a “healthy” looking female, I am forced to render the harsh backlash of ignorance and doubt.

“But you don’t look sick.”

Just because I can fake a smile and force myself to escape the isolation for an hour doesn’t mean I am not fighting off the demons internally and am not in a relentless amount of pain. If you could just see how I feel rather than how I look, life with a chronic “invisible” illness may be that much easier.

After years of living with my illness I’ve learned to accept and live with it. I have hope for remission or a “cure,” but I have accepted that this is my now and I must either choose to live this way or give up.

I choose to live.

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Photo via Moof on Getty Images

Originally published: December 1, 2017
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