You know how sometimes, when you're sick or badly injured and you feel like you won't survive the experience? Those few days, or even weeks, of physical/emotional drain and torture can seem endless... But what if the nausea/ urging pain/all consuming fatigue isn't temporary? What if it genuinely can't be fixed and you know that you're going to pretty much feel like crap for the rest of your days?
Well, that's what it's like to live with a chronic illness. I, myself, suffer from chronic pelvic pain, which basically means that I've had what feels like severe period pain, every day, for over seven years. There has been no cause found. I've had every available test and procedure done. All I can do now is suck it up (buttercup) and hope that my many painkillers kick in, for at least a portion of the day...
It's horrible. I've lost a lot of friends who couldn't understand why I kept cancelling plans. My son doesn't get the healthy and energetic mammy that he deserves. I've gotten pissed off with people who have merely been trying to help, however misguided their words may be.
But... I've made some real, true and amazing friends during the process. I've discovered how much my family members really care as I've witnessed them fighting tooth and nail to help me get better, or just to keep my sanity intact. My son has had the opportunity to learn how to be gentle and respectful of another's needs at a young age. He'll make a wonderful husband/ partner some day and I'm super proud of him.
So, some clouds have silver linings and some silver linings most definitely have clouds! Another bonus to this situation is in discovering my own strength. I've been likened to old boots in the past but just how old and booty I can be was yet to be seen. I now know that this won't break me. I can get on with most things and most people (the ones I don't groan at) would have no idea that there was anything wrong. And that's the thing about 'invisible illnesses'. The only person who truly knows how badly it effects them is the sufferer themselves. If there's a person in your life with an ongoing sickness, show them that you care by really listening when they tell you what's going on inside of them. Believe that they're telling the truth. Forgive them for backing out of their plans with you more then three times in a row. We do love ye but constant not wellness can literally be a chronic pain in the ass.
HuffPost UK Lifestyle has launched EveryBody, a new section calling for better equality and inclusivity for people living with disability and invisible illness. The aim is to empower those whose voices are not always heard and redefine attitudes to identity, lifestyle and ability in 2017. We'll be covering all manner of lifestyle topics - from health and fitness to dating, sex and relationships.
We'd love to hear your stories. To blog for the section, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line 'EveryBody'. To flag any issues that are close to your heart, please email email@example.com, again with the subject line 'EveryBody'.
Join in the conversation with #HPEveryBody on Twitter and Instagram.