My illnesses may be invisible but I am not.
Who knew that having an ‘invisible’ illness (or illnesses in my case), would render the sufferer invisible themselves? I mean, what sort of trickery is that? Eat your heart out David Blane, we can make ourselves invisible without even trying! Isn’t that amazing?
No, it is not.
In fact, it’s so far from amazing, I would be surprised if it didn’t have it’s postal code.
If you’re sitting there wondering what planet I am on, I shall explain what my sarcasm is all about:
I am the owner of eight chronic illnesses (hypothyroidsim, carpal tunnel syndrome, IBS, hypermobile-EDS, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression and recently, ME (also known as CFS) ). Because I’m not walking around with any of my limbs in casts, no brightly lit sign shouting the fact that I am chronically ill, or no other obvious thing pointing that out, to the untrained eye I am fine. Absolutely fine. But I’m not, and I don’t blame people for thinking otherwise, they’re only human. Of course I could rattle on about the UGH phrase of ‘but you don’t look sick,’ however that would be a completely new article in itself and even though it frustrates me something rotten, it’s not my issue here.
What my issue is, is that my invisible illnesses seemed to have rendered me an invisible human being, and its actually quite upsetting. I’ll give you an example; several people I know were all meeting up somewhere not too far from where I live and, instead of asking me to go with them, that notion was completely ignored. Now, before anyone comments saying, ‘people are entitled to do things without inviting you,’ I get that, I totally do. People are allowed to make plans with other people without inviting everyone in their phone book to join them – I GET IT! What I don’t get is when they come to you with ‘oh we must make plans!’, and then are always seen making plans with other people. I have even spoken to those concerned regarding how I felt and the response has always been ‘but we didn’t think you would want to come’ or ‘I know you’re not well’.
I get the sentiment of the last one, I really do but I, AM NEVER GOING TO GET BETTER! Surely that’s my decision whether I feel well enough on that day to go somewhere? As for the ‘we didn’t think you would want to come,’ again, why not ask me? Why not let me make that decision myself? Why take that decision away from me?
Yes, there will be times where I cannot physically go to meet ups and may have to cancel, and whilst I’m not expecting everyone to drop everything and include me in their goings on, I would like to be involved every now and then, even if I do say no. I get it, I’m not always a nice person to be around, who is? I get that people may not enjoy my company which is absolutely fine. However, if you’re a friend to me who knows my situation then you should understand that inclusion something that chronically ill people wish for. Don’t leave us out and make us feel like we need to beg people to meet up with us. Even if you think that we may turn you down for a meet up, please do invite us anyway rather than simply assume and make us feel even worse than we do already.
Invisible illnesses don’t care whether it’s Christmas, birthdays, planned days out, or even just a usual day. If we’re going to hurt, we will hurt wherever we go, whatever we do. It simply does not care. I can’t do as much as I used to do, nowhere near, yet I still want to be a part of things without someone else deciding for me whether I will be able to do it or not. Sitting down hurts, yet I would rather sit down in pain somewhere other than the four walls of my house if I am able to.
My illnesses may be invisible, but I, Kaisha, certainly am not and neither are my feelings.