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Tag Archives: Pain


There are many ways in which people feel invisible and isolated, but one of the most widely known, and unknown, ways in which people use more strength and effort to achieve what others take for granted is living with an invisible illness.

Pushing through your daily routines with pain can be truly punishing and at the end of the day exhaustion ensues.  For some, such supreme effort can keep them homebound for days seeking recovery.  The mental and physical fatigue is very real and cannot just be “slept off.”

It is estimated that over 10% of the population in the United States has an invisible illness and the percentage expands for those with an invisible disability although I suspect that the number is actually higher (these are classified differently under the Disabilities Act – the U.S. Census estimates that 19%, 1 in 5, of the population – over 56 million people – have a disability).

Many invisible illnesses have neurological origins and are woefully misunderstood.

The saddest truth is that you will be judged and quite harshly by some.  There are more critics than those who will empathize.  Some will create drama over their aches and pains and soak up all the sympathy that they can.  But, as Maya Angelou aptly put it, you don’t have to be one just because you have it.

invisible_maya angelou

I don’t feel that those of us with invisible illnesses are looking for pity or a public showing.  However, private concern, compassion, kindness, and understanding seem like too much to hope for, but are genuinely desired.

The range of invisible illnesses include genetic diseases, Fibromyalgia and Lyme disease, to Multiple Sclerosis, ALS and Alzheimer’s in early stages, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and other autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Depression and all mental illnesses, to Heart or Lung disease, Endometriosis, Diabetes, and Cancer.  The broad scope and list of such illnesses is long and very real for those suffering.  We want to remain positive, we want to feel good, and we want to live without pain.  We wish that we could.  But, when we have experienced it we have two options: selfishly claim that ours is worse than others and become bitter or empathize with another’s pain and acknowledge with comforting compassion and patience.

Those suffering with invisible illnesses often feel that they live in an invisible world, as their lives and feelings are hidden away to please others (who rarely are) or prevent discrimination from affecting them in any way at work, school, or social situations.  They fight twice as hard for every day in misunderstanding, fear, and the vast unknown.


While completely misunderstood, you cannot classify hundreds of millions of people around the world as “faking” or seeking attention.  Most will not receive any and will struggle alone.

Life happens and we do not always have the choice of health and wellness.  Masking it to make others feel more comfortable only adds to the difficulty.  Each of us is fighting a battle that no one else knows.

The first step is empathy and acceptance. Appreciate that while beauty may be skin deep, illness can and does indeed go to the bone, and strong people bear it as well as able every day.  The majority of people do not want to experience pain, struggle, or seek medical attention as often as they must to live active and functioning lives.  However, criticism, demeaning, and intolerance wound further.


If you are living with an invisible illness, what has your experience been?

Thank you for sharing.



quote_nobody makes it out here alone_maya angelou


Stigma and shame are isolating, but there are so many people hurting, find ways to connect.  You create healing for yourself and another in the process.  If each person reached out to another with genuine concern, caring, support and understanding, how changed we all could be and the environment around us.


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There are passions and interests that drive us to push forward, but our loss of privacy and increase of others’ judgment certainly causes doubt.

When writing online, there are those who will not speak to you, but believe that they “know” you from those things that you put out into the cybersphere.  Our beliefs and ideals can be present, but there is still fear from the anxieties of the past.  Those experiences affect the decisions we make in the future because we don’t want to go through the painful processes again.  Have enough bad experiences, and a strong memory, and the anxiety ramps up.

Be not the slave of your own past

It causes sensitive people to hold back or not dare to express at all.  Bullying in any form makes someone hide.  Yet, by the obvious existence of millions and millions of voices trying to be heard, the small self says “I am.  I do exist.”   If you have found your community and been privileged to develop strong relationships with kind and encouraging people, you have found a treasure.  Criticism and judgment tear people down and drain the spirit.

Knowing who you are and your priorities, including character and integrity, exist whether anyone understands it or not.   Isn’t it funny how many people don’t speak to another yet they fear what is being said online?  I guess that is another inkling of doubt as well.  We each have them, but reaching beyond hostile environments to seek out kinder climes is a basic need and critical to healthy mental and physical being.  It is scary to be vulnerable, but we find out quickly who does, and does not, deserve our time and attention.

dont ruin a good day


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Today, I was thinking about resilience as we choose to keep moving forward while things around us seem to be stagnant, or worse, moving in the opposite direction from where we want to be.

We are strong, but pushing forward takes more energy and courage than most people know or will choose to recognize.  It is easy to put someone down, talk behind his back, bully, follow the crowd, take the easy road.  Fear of suffering and experience holds us back from reaching for a better future.  But, it is far more difficult and noteworthy to stand up and say “This is not who I am.  I know my truth and those people don’t actually know me.  They are just critics, but they will not stand in my way.  I will not be defeated because that would bring them more joy than seeing me succeed.”

May you find inspiration, a ray of sunshine, a welcoming smile, a kind word, hope……

I saw this post this morning and loved the quote by Paul Coelho.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.” – Paulo Coelho I dare say that we are all afraid of suffering in one way or another – be it through pain, embarrassment, failure, or…

via Tell Your Heart That the Fear of Suffering Is Worse Than the Suffering Itself – Paulo Coelho — The Seeds 4 Life


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