A person from Myherapy asked me to write a paragraph on invisible illness. That is very kind and optimistic that I could restrain myself for a paragraph. Here is what I wrote. If you have anything to add I’ll leave the comments open. If you like head over to MyTherapy. I had a poke around and there is ALOT for Spoonies there.
I have so much to say on this topic, so much that I started a weekly podcast and blog to address what it is like to go through the world disabled and sick but to look healthy. As I have interviewed people my definition for Invisible Illness changed. I began to understand that so many of us have a different start point in the day. Some are lucky enough to roll out of bed hit the bus and go to work. Many others are caretakers and their day began at the crack of dawn getting pills together. There are people with anxiety and depression who must fight through a fog of fear and apathy just to get to the morning coffee. There are those grieving or some who are afraid. So here is the common misconception and that is that you can tell anything just by looking at someone. You can’t and to assume robs the person of their experience and robs you of having a genuine connection. It is a difficult world to withhold judgement and assumption, I fail often at this, but it is a fight I am so willing to fight it is in the tag line of my podcast Be kind. Be gentle. Be a badass. In other words first be kind, always try kindness first. If you see a person in a wheelchair standing to reach the bottle of vodka help them. Do not take out your phone for the perfect snarky meme. If someone says something cruel or biting or shares such a meme gentle education. Ignorance is curable. Being a badass can mean anything from trying to get out of bed to calling Congress to fight for disabled rights.