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Welcome to Cream Crackered Blog: a health and lifestyle blog about life as a 30 something with a chronic illness. I started this blog just over a year ago when my life was turned on its head by a diagnosis of an incurable, long term neurological illness called M.E. After my diagnosis I was shocked to learn of how much stigma the disease is shrouded in, and the lack of support available to sufferers, so I started this blog with the aim of raising awareness of the disease and hopefully offering advice and support to fellow sufferers on how to build a new life alongside chronic illness. 


It has since grown into a wonderful, supportive, inclusive community on Instagram which I would love for you to join. You can find the links to all my social media accounts at the top of the page.

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  • Writer's pictureLorna McFindlow

Invisible

Updated: Oct 21, 2022



If you were looking carefully, my illness wouldn’t be quite so invisible at all. If you were paying attention, you would see the effort that goes into appearing ‘normal’. You would notice the pallor of my complexion barely hidden by my carefully applied make up, and the sadness in my eyes that my life is now so limited, so different to what I had hoped. You would see the way I start to rock back and forth when the pain becomes too much, and how my hands start to shake when I’ve over exerted.


If you were looking carefully you would notice how I wince at loud noises and struggle to follow conversations, and how I still feel so awkward about having to ask you to speak a little quieter.


If you were really paying attention, you would hear the yearning in my voice when I talk about teaching and see my desperation to be able to put my skills to use again.


You would see how I hate relying on my partner for so much, and how my self-esteem has been dented by my inability to provide for myself.


If you were really paying attention you would notice the long periods where I simply drop off the map, where I retreat into the safety of my solitude. Not through choice but because I am too fatigued to even hold up a cup of tea or feed myself, and I have no idea how to explain to you how terrifying this feels. I don’t know how to bring you into that world with me, so I exist there alone.


If you looked closely you would see the exhaustion on the face of my partner and the worry on mine that I am holding him back. That this isn’t what he signed up for. That he will eventually get sick of it all. You would see the darker thoughts that swirl around my head: thoughts that he would be better off without me.


If you were looking carefully you would hear me getting out of breath, simply from chatting or standing up to give you a hug. You would see how hard I have to concentrate to follow your conversation because my pain is distracting and all consuming. You would see the regret in my eyes that I can’t join you for drinks or dinner, and the hurt it caused when you stopped inviting me altogether.

If you were paying closer attention you would see the way I try to downplay my symptoms around you because I don’t want to make you uncomfortable, or for you to think that I’m no fun to be around. You would also notice how I always lie about how bad the payback is after spending time with you, because I don’t want you to feel bad or give up on me altogether.


If you were really looking you would see the frustration and the shame I feel at being so dependent on others. You would see the longing in my eyes when I talk about running or hiking, and how hard I try to fight the pang of jealousy I feel when I see you going on holidays, climbing mountains, going out for drinks together and generally doing the usual things a person my age does. You would see that jealousy and understand that it doesn’t mean that I’m not happy for you. I am, but I’m also grieving for myself.


If you looked closely enough you would see the pain and the longing in my eyes when I play with your lovely children, wondering if I’ll ever be well enough to have my own. You would hear the giant clock ticking violently in my body, reminding me of this more and more each day.


But mostly, if you really took a good look, you would see that I am simply missing from my life. I make the best of it, because what other choice do I have? But the truth is I am lost at sea in a boat without paddles, and no one can light the way home for me. I must simply sit and wait, hoping that one day the tide will turn and I will find a way back to my life.


You would see all this if you really looked.

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6件のコメント


james.ingram
2022年10月18日

I saw this posted by Diversity and Ability on twitter for Invisible disabilities week. Really affecting. Thank you for sharing. Lots of parallels with my experience with Avascular necrosis and fatigue/

いいね!

emilyypaige
2021年1月19日

This is so beautifully written. I have ME myself and just stumbled upon your blog this evening. This piece really captures so much of how I feel but I could never express it so eloquently and perfectly as you have here!


Sending love and spoons your way ♥️

いいね!

lenskalo
2020年5月11日

Such a brave piece of writing Lorna - and something I'm so proud of you for being able to share, cos I know there are hard truths there for us, your loved ones, that we've been slow to recognise and accept. You've done a great thing for us in showing us your reality - thank you. Now it's up to us to keep seeing it, and showing our love more and better. Hugs xxx

いいね!

nmckay
2020年5月11日

This is an incredibly brave piece of writing, and at the same time truly heartbreaking to read as someone who knows what life was like before for you.


I’ll never ever be able to express the immense amount of respect and adoration I have for you and all disabled individuals who strive to overcome such brutal symptoms every day just to try and live what others would consider to be a low key lifestyle and existence. Inspiring doesn’t even begin to cover it. 🤍

いいね!

Liz Ireland
2020年5月11日

Beautiful written & heartbreaking at the same time! Thanks for being so honest, I hope it helps others going through the same thing! Lx

いいね!

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