I’ve lived with invisible illnesses for years, the kind that doctors write off as not worth their time, a product of stress, or something that must not exist because it does not fit into the paradigms of the general population. I’ve had hidden pain since I was 17, not including the migraines that started before that, nor the heat exhaustion that started much earlier.
I mentioned a while back that my daughter has been diagnosed with EDS Type 3. She also has an official diagnosis of POTS. I don’t believe we are finished with all the diagnoses she will end up with. But none of them are visible to the casual passerby. No one knows when her heart races to 181 bpms when she is just sitting calmly in a church service or 120 bpms for no reason sitting in the car on her way to the chiropractor unless she tells them.
I finally got a referral to see the geneticist for myself, shortly before this COVID-19 crisis started. I’m still waiting to figure out when I will be able to get an appointment. But the geneticist told me, when I was in her office getting my daughter’s diagnoses, that I also have EDS. It’s just not official yet.
The last couple of weeks I’ve had a few days where I’ve been depressed. I hope this does not continue. I don’t like it. I’ve always been able to overcome these sorts of feelings by doing something nice for others in the past, but I feel a bit limited right now since we’re doing this social distancing stuff.
Depression is also one of those invisible illnesses that the casual passerby does not notice. And a lot of people are suffering with it.
Then there are the inner pains from past and present traumas, betrayals, rejections, and abuses. Sometimes emotional pain can be harder to deal with than physical pain. It has the potential to cause us to desire love but to push away those who try to offer it, which is totally counterproductive.
If you see someone who is not all happy-looking, what do you do?
- Do you try to cheer them up?
- Do you rush on by because you are too busy?
- Or do you withdraw, thinking that you are inadequate to even know where to begin helping them?
(This reminds me of the Good Samaritan and those who did and did not help the wounded man.)
It is possible that we are inadequate, but sometimes we can at least brighten their day by giving them a smile that shows that we care, by taking a moment to ask how they are (really wanting to know), and perhaps by asking how we can pray for them.
Many people for many years have not done that for me. But at some point, God spoke to my heart that I should try to do for others what I wish others would have done for me.
I find comfort in the fact that God sees all that is invisible to others.
- He sees my pain, and He cares.
- He sees my exhaustion, and He cares.
- He sees my inner disquiet, and He cares.
- He sees my depression, and He cares.
- He sees my daughter’s heart racing, and He cares.
Today I’m thankful that God sees my invisible pain, my hidden illness, disquiet, and depression and that He cares!
I’m thankful that He loves me and cares for me even when no one else knows that I’m suffering.
I’m thankful for you all who are willing to read this and offer up a prayer for me even though you can’t see me. I’m thankful that you took the time to see what I had to say. Thank you! 🙂
What about you? Do you ever feel isolated and wish that someone would care enough to try to be friendly and caring? Do you make an effort to show others that you care by smiling at them or praying for them? What are some other things that we can do to show others that we care? Are you thankful that God sees your invisible pains and loves you enough to care for you even when others don’t seem to notice?