That's how I feel, in so many ways. Every day is a struggle, every day is a new round of weird symptoms and fighting to keep going. Every day is another day of pain, another day of crushing fatigue, another day of wondering when, and if, this is ever going to end.
It's suspected that I have rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disorder. It doesn't just affect my joints--it attacks various parts of my body, including my inner ears. That results in near-constant vertigo and dizziness, all day, every day.
Imagine it, if you would, waking up in pain every day, staying in pain every day, constantly fighting the urge to sleep, and terrified a wave of vertigo is going to hit as you're walking down the stairs. Imagine sitting at your desk, so dizzy you think you're going to puke, and still having to remain upbeat and do your job. Depression and anxiety are also eating away at you, a result of all the things going wrong with your body.
That's me. That's me every day, 24/7. But my disorder and--dare I say--disability isn't something you can see, and probably not something you'd even notice looking at me. It's an invisible disease, one that is wrecking my life in almost every way imaginable.
On top of that, I've become invisible to others. Not everyone, mind you--there are some absolutely fantastic friends, both old and new, who have been absolutely supportive and non-judgmental, even when I've disappeared because I've been wrapped in a nightmare of depression (You guys know who you are, and THANK YOU). But there are others who have quietly faded away, despite their former assertions of friendship, and I am essentially invisible to them now.
And that hurts. It doesn't help, knowing you've got this huge fight ahead of you--a lifelong fight, mind you, against a disorder that is most likely going to shorten my lifespan and create even worse suffering in my old age, for some of the people who claimed to forever be there just leave you, abandon you, like so much trash alongside the road.
It makes you attack yourself, in your darkest moments. You tell yourself it's because somehow you're not worthy of their friendship, that your disorder--which you have no control over--somehow makes you less of a person, both to the supposed friends and society at large.
It's not a fun place to be, invisible. Invisible disorder, invisible to people who supposedly cared about you, just...invisible.
Again, I thankfully have some steadfast friends who are unwaveringly there for me, and I can't express my gratitude enough to them. They are what have kept me going, and have helped me deal with the issues that plague me, both physical and mental.
My writing has suffered as a result, and I know this. I haven't been able to write as much because of everything that's been going on. So forgive me, readers, for the delay. I am working on it--again, with the help of the lovely people I mentioned above, I'm starting to get back there. But it's a long, rough road, and I can't guarantee I'll be done with the books anytime soon. I promise you though, I am working on it.
I guess the moral of this story is to not assume what others' lives may be like. Spread kindness as much as possible, because you have no idea what struggles another person is going through. Many people are invisible, like me, their disorders and battles just as hidden as mine. And cherish the friends that are always there for you no matter what. There are too many people in the world who will drop you faster than you can blink the second you are anything but "normal," whatever their definition of "normal" might be. Keep those people close to your heart, and be there for them as much as they are for you.