Fibromyalgia

‘I’m often mistaken for being lazy or spoiled. The dirty looks I get would shock you. I may look like a typical 23-year-old, but I’m not.’: Woman with multiple ‘invisible’ chronic illnesses refuses to let struggles ‘overcome her joy’

“My determination isn’t disabled, my fire isn’t disabled, but my body is. For a long time, this was hard to admit. I do my best to show up every day, but it’s not always enough. I can practically smell the resentment from my coworkers. My boss stopped believing me and asked for a ‘doctor’s note.’ Instead, I ended up hospitalized. ‘Is this good enough?’ I snarkily asked. I know I should keep my mouth shut, but I really can’t help myself. The struggle is REAL.”

‘Does that hurt?’ He smelled of liquor. I grabbed my baby girl and got in his face. All of the red flags were there, but I ignored them. I thought my love could make him a better man.’

“He’d deliberately go out and ‘ghost’ me. I felt trapped in a thick fog of confusion, heartbreak, and betrayal. My children and I grew to appreciate when he left to work. We could be ourselves and not have to walk on eggshells. Every time he’d swindle his way back in, I felt like I betrayed myself.”

‘My friends invited me for a weekend getaway. I got a few itchy bites. ‘Are you pregnant?’ ‘Maybe it’s bacterial?’ This was a disease I had never heard of. There is NO cure for it.’

“I assumed it was the flu. I drank plenty of fluids and stayed in bed. But I wasn’t getting better. I had shooting pains all the way up my spine, as if someone was sawing me open. I went back to the doctor. ‘I think it’s food poisoning.’ ‘Maybe cancer.’ ‘HIV.’ ‘Is it possible you’re pregnant?’ No.”

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