When you have an invisible illness it’s easy for people to forget.
That each day starts with an unknown.
That a full night’s sleep doesn’t necessarily mean you will have enough energy for the day. It’s not even certain you will have enough energy for the morning.
That each day you don’t know if you will have a slight niggle in your back or an unending headache, or whether you will wake up in agony, that the slightest touch could feel like you’ve been hit by a sledge hammer.
That these words aren’t even an exaggeration, but an actual truth, that you have to live with on a daily basis.
And this is just when you are “healthy”.
Now imagine what it’s like to couple this along with general illness.
A stomach bug that someone might be over in 48hrs, leaves you broken for weeks.
A cold that lasts someone maybe a week or two? Could go on for months.
Months of further drain on an already worn out body, let alone mind.
But it’s easy to forget, with a fake smile and a carry-on attitude.
That until you crack and fall, they don’t even notice your pain, and they wonder what is wrong?
And that’s just the physical.
What if alongside all of this you suffer in silence with hidden mental illness too? That a low mood is a stable ground on which you live every day, as familiar as a warm blanket on a frosty night, when the darkness rolls in.
That crippling anxiety could strike at any moment? Panic and try to breath and run away, when no one realises the incredible crushing on your chest and in your head, has come along and hit you like a ton of bricks.
What if all of this was in one person?
The pain, the fatigue, the low and loneliness, and the heart crushing anxiety too.
And what if it was all invisible, behind that fake smile and perseverance.
And you carry on, you live your life with everyone unknowing.
Unknowing what it is truly like to try and fit all of that into life and fit all the things that need to be done, when it is nearly impossible to even put one foot in front of the other.
That you continue to do what you can for everyone else even though you can barely look after yourself.
And when you fall, there is no one there to catch you because they forget how fragile your wings really are.