Living In A World Apart



By Suzan L. Jackson in ProHealth.


Holiday season is upon us, and that fills me with dread because it means lots of visits with extended family who see us only rarely. Our invisible illnesses become even more invisible at these times. I have been able to improve my condition and my son’s greatly in the past 10 years, thanks to a variety of treatments, but that has only made my invisibility worse. The more I am able to be out and about “in the real world,” the less that others understand how much I struggle every moment of every day. My close friends and my immediate family intimately understand my challenges because they interact with me frequently.

The rest of the world, though – acquaintances, friends that don’t spend as much time with me, and extended family members – see someone who looks vibrant and energetic. They think that my restrictions are self-imposed, that I’m exaggerating my illness, sometimes even that I am looking for attention. Nothing could be further from the truth. I would give anything to live a free and active life again – to eat whatever I want, to have a glass of wine or beer, to exercise intensely, to stay up late, and to do all the things I am longing to do.


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