~Esther Mitchell, 2011~

I cry myself to sleep at night,
tears muffled by my pillow;
I fear the sleep in which I once found solace,
Afraid I might not wake tomorrow.

I cry myself awake each morning,
Never sure if it’s relief, or pain;
I bury all I feel behind a mask,
Knowing others don’t want reminders of my pain.

Yet, tears are my constant companion,
though never what gets me through the day;
Only hope and belief that there’s a reason,
Give me the strength to fight, to stay.

When you mock or berate me,
for the pain and fear with which I live,
You take away my hope,
and demand so much more than I can give.

Don’t judge what you don’t understand,
Or think all’s well just because I don’t let you see;
Behind this mask pain and fear bid me to wear,
You’ll find there’s so much more I want to be.

There are thousands of people living with what are known as Invisible Diseases – Diseases that rob them of the daily life functions most people take for granted. Yet, rather than receiving the compassion directed toward people whose illnesses and disabilities are more obvious, people suffering from Invisible Diseases are more often ridiculed, looked down on, talked down to, or treated deplorably because they don’t “look sick.”

As someone who suffers from an Invisible Disease, I have first-hand experience with this treatment, and it’s become part of my mission in life to spread awareness about Invisible Disease and learning to understand others, rather than just judging on what you see.


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