Wednesday 22 August 2018

You Too?
Striving to Make Invisible Illness Less Invisible

Posted by at 3:47 PM in

  

My most popular article on Life On Granite Ridge has been “Today I Can't Fake "Good"”

  

This was an article that I wrote many months ago while I sat on the recliner in my living room too exhausted to move and in too much pain to accomplish much.

I wrote the article on a whim, half a (much needed) vent session, and half as an encouragement to myself and others.

  

I was open and vulnerable and unapologetic.

  

And I remember that when I hit that “publish” button and released my words to find their way onto the screens of my readers I felt slightly regretful. I worried that perhaps I vented a bit too much, was too honest, and perhaps I failed to pour out enough encouragement to the heart of whoever may read my words.

So, it is intriguing to me that I received so many views and responses to that particular post. Some responses were sweet encouragement for me and others were the sharing of similar stories, pain, and struggle. Nearly all the messages I received were privately sent to me and were soaked in feelings of loneliness as they wondered aloud if they were the only ones suffering.

  

“You too? I didn’t know that anyone else felt like this.”

  

When my book My New Normal : Learning to Thrive with Chronic Illness was published and the word spread through my community I found myself with opportunities to connect with women that I otherwise, would most likely, have never known. People began to reach out to me with a desire to connect and to share their own story.

A common thread, a universal theme, emerged as I listened. All felt alone in their suffering. I can no longer deny... if I ever had... that there are a lot of hurting women out there.

So, while it saddens me that this is the subject that resonates most with the people in my life and all of you who so kindly stop to read my ramblings, I am also encouraged by this little crack in the door. I am excited by the sliver of light breaking through.

Often, it is only the results of our suffering that are evident rather than the suffering itself. Our friends and family can not always see what chronic illness does to the body and the mind. When the ravages of illness and pain steal away our abilities and our time it can be baffling to our loved ones. They deeply care for us but are not always able to understand. So, we do our best to hide what is not already invisible and we pretend that all is “normal”.


 

Maybe it’s time for that to change?

  

My prayer is that we can be brave and honest with ourselves and with each other. With open hearts and open dialog we can shine light onto something that doesn’t need to remain hidden.   

In the meantime I hold each of you close and I say, “Yes, me too.”

   

If this article touched you, you might be interested in reading....

  

  A Daughter's Perspective

         

 My New Normal:

 Learning to Thrive with Chronic Illness