The first time I heard term ‘Invisible Illness’ was just few months ago. I never even imagined that such term existed. Of course, I knew that some illnesses are not visible to the eye and yet they exist. However, it’s true that you only start paying attention to things when they hit closest to home.
Scars Are Everywhere
I have always considered myself a relatively healthy person. Yes, I had minor health issues like any other human, but never something that would affect my daily life. After my diagnosis and successful treatment of lung tuberculosis back in 2006, I learned to live with occasional lung spasms and understood that my respiratory system is forever changed.
At first, I was ashamed to tell people that I lived through such illness, I was ashamed to explain, why sometimes it’s hard to breath and why, during winter months, my immune system needed EXTRA support. However, as time went on and I grew older, I learned to be more open. For occasional person that showed interest and I felt comfortable with, I told my story. Even though I can share my story, I will never be able to show my actual scar on my right lung. To the world, it is and always will be an invisible scar.
My latest diagnosis for Central Sensitization, migraines, anxiety and myriad of other things, led me to understand that there is so much more than just physical pain. Over the years, whilst focusing mostly on my body, I completely abandoned my mental health, my invisible scars that needed attention. I never thought that in my late thirties I will be dealing with chronic illness, that for the first time in my life I will step into therapy, scared, lost, anxious and not knowing where to start.
It took me years to accept the fact that there is no reason to be ashamed of what I went through. It took me one nervous breakdown, a panic attack and CS diagnosis to realize, that I have more than just a physical scar.
Friends And Enemies
Every day I wake up and my fear wakes up with me. I don’t know why it’s inside of me, I don’t know if and when it will go away. I am only starting to understand that it’s deep, strong and doesn’t want to give up. Nevertheless, I also know that I created it. I know that my inner Edward Hyde is very much out there and it is part of me. I know I don’t want to kill it; I just want to be friends.
Regardless if your invisible illness is physical, mental or emotional, it matters. Learn to accept it, befriend it, love it. Talk about it to people around you, to people you don’t know. All of us have something we are ashamed of, scared of and don’t know how to explain it. Stop living in the darkness and come out. Invisible illness won’t be invisible, if everyone opens their eyes.