HOW ARE YOU? The most loaded question you can ask a person with chronic illness.
The lie we all tell, fingers crossed behind our backs.
Prior to April of this year when I began The Chronic Ills, an invisible illness project, I had never spoken publicly about my condition.
I’d only told a handful of close friends & family & hid All Of The Everything™️ behind those two little words.
That all changed when I decided to speak out about using CBD oil to control my neuropathic pain.
For a bit of context: the media in Australia was misreporting the truth of the medicinal cannabis patient access “situation”.
To my surprise, I was met with a deluge of support & kind words. But it hasn’t always gone that way... which is exactly why I “learned” to tell the lie to mask the pain.
Previous to mustering up the courage to speak my truth, you NEVER would have believed I was so unwell from a quick scan through my personal social media.
I could barely get out of bed or use my left arm & hand.
No one had a clue.
I hadn’t been able to work in over 3 years. No one had any idea.
This is the blessing & the curse of an invisible illness.
“I’m fine” allowed me to avoid uncomfortable conversations about the searing nerve pain, the dislocating joints, the crushing fatigue.
I’ve let VERY FEW people in over the years, and for good reason. "But you don't LOOK sick."
"It's not like you're DYING."
"At least you don't have CANCER."
“You’re too young to be THIS unwell”
Comments like these drove my self esteem into the ground as a child & young adult... and taught me to mask it all with the familiar & oh so comfortable lie:
But comfort does not bring about change.
Here, in this Instagram community, we may all have completely different types of invisible illness & disability, yet we all have the same thread of silent suffering, isolation & a smiling facade.
I truly hope that our invisible illness documentary will raise awareness for us all by having those uncomfortable conversations & as a result create understanding & empathy from the world at large.
If you’d like to be involved go to:
No more comfortable lies, ok?
Who’s with me?