an 'invisible' battle

Just because you can’t see it, does not mean it isn’t there.

Just because I don’t look it, doesn’t mean I don’t feel it.

Just because you don’t know it, doesn’t mean it’s not real.

And just because I look normal, doesn’t mean I’m okay.

I live and survive with what is known as an ‘invisible illness’. The signs are not obvious, the disability is not evident; but it’s very much there: Constant, Chronic and Continuous. Type 1 Diabetes is not a show off – it doesn’t like to be in the spotlight – it likes to be backstage, where it has the upper hand. It likes to hide in the shadows, knowing that you can never really escape it.

I live with an invisible illness – you cannot see what is going on inside, but if you could feel it, it might go like this – your insides would be a constant battle between cold and hot – a confused mess of adrenaline and sleep, an ongoing struggle between confidence and chaos. Its like drowning, it’s like being thirsty in a never ending sea of sand; it feels like cartwheeling without a safety net! Not all scars show, not all wounds heal, and not all illnesses can be seen.

I live with an invisible illness – and not all days are bad. There are more good days than bad actually. But does that mean that on the bad days I’m making excuses? No, it means that the bad days are a struggle! Struggles that I would not wish on anyone!

I live with an invisible illness – on days that I’ve done my makeup and worn nice clothes – it doesn’t automatically make me healthier. I could look perfect, but that doesn’t mean I would feel perfect. When my sugars are sky rocketing, my make up will still stay on, but my insides would be melting. What’s that saying? Don’t judge a book by its cover.

I live with an invisible illness – and I’m scared! I’m scared of what it will do to my body in the long run. I’m scared of the marks its leaving inside my body, where no one can see it. I’m petrified of being completely alone in a situation where my body decides to give up. I’m scared of being in a group of people who can’t ‘see’ my hypo.

I don’t ask for your sympathy – but at the same time, I don’t ask for your doubt. When I say I’m in pain – believe me. Just because there is no scar on my skin doesn’t mean inside I’m not burning. When I say that I am exhausted, it’s not an easy excuse, but a deeply draining experience – that you can’t see. And when I say that I’m trying – I’m not asking for pity, but I’m informing you that I am fighting an unseen battle every day and hey – still making it seem easy.

I live with an invisible illness – so the next time you look at me and say ‘you don’t look sick’, just know that while you make simple comments like that, I’m fighting for my life every day, and you can’t even see it!

Because remember – A lot of disabilities are invisible, but your reaction to them isn’t.