Posts tagged invisible illness
It Couldn’t Be That Bad, Right? On Vulnerability, Invisible Turmoil, and Being a Voice for Others in the Face of Chronic Illness

Vulnerability is hard; in speaking with others, in writing about our experiences, and even more so publishing those musings online for all to see and dissect.

During college, I relished connecting with others and exchanging stories. I was frequently inspired by others’ struggles, dreams, and ambitions. I loved sharing my history and seeing how such different backgrounds could overlap with common hurdles that had been overcome.

Until one spring during my senior year, something went wrong. Parts of me were changing and I didn’t know why. These changes were so profound that I didn’t trust my mind, my emotions, or myself anymore. The person I once was, slowly started slipping away.

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Keri Fisher

Question: Letting go. In the process of being diagnosed with Lyme Disease, what things have you had to sacrifice and let go of? And how do you cope and adjust to this new way of life?

Keri: Letting go is very hard, especially because I really loved my extremely active and on-the-go life, and I miss it. By the age of 26 I had traveled to over 20 countries, lived abroad twice, and earned two college degrees. I find myself saying “before I got sick I did this...” “when I was healthy I was very...” so that type of language and thought implies that I can’t be myself or be who I am because of my symptoms and how this disease has plagued my brain. Besides the stress and pain of being sick, we are sick with bacterias that our government denies and doesn’t even know how to test for or treat! Now that I am out of my brain fog and have my short-term memory back, I adjust and cope by practicing non-attachment from yoga, realize that every moment, emotion, and body ache is fleeting, and I tell myself and my body how much I love them.

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Adrienne Joy Clements

But my favorite self-love coping tools include: mindfulness + meditation practices, journaling exercises, spending time outdoors, playing with my awesome pup, and connecting with others who understand (Instagram is a great way to do this!).

Question: Following your passion. What activities do you do for yourself that help feed your mind and body? And how do these activities help you stay motivated through the good and the bad?

Adrienne: I like to consider myself a Jackie-of-all-trades, and have so many different passions. I enjoy learning, creating, connecting, traveling, and playing! Spending time outdoors nourishes me on so many levels – physically, mentally, and spiritually. Even if all I can do is sit out in my backyard – the sun, sounds, and earth are so healing.

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For Suzanne

We hiked for nearly two months and approached the Vermont border. I can't describe how amazing it felt to be so far along the trail, with only a few states left, especially when those states held some of the best hiking yet to come.

The days heading into Vermont turned strange however. I noticed Suzanne (the girl I mentioned before / the one this story is really all about, even though it has taken me far too long to get to the point) just wasn't herself. At first I honestly though she might just be on her period. We had overcome this obstacle however, quite smoothly I might add.

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Aviva Peltin

Q: Letting go. In the process of being diagnosed with Lyme Disease, what things have you had to sacrifice and let go of? And how do you cope and adjust to this new way of life?

Aviva: I became chronically ill the summer of 2010, the year before I thought I’d leave home and go to college in California. I thought life would be so different. Not following my prescribed timeline was incredibly painful. Especially when we are young, each age has symbolism attached. When you’re 18, you’re an “adult.” Having to stay home when all my friends had the opportunity to become independent, go on adventures, and see the world was really difficult.

I just turned 22. This age has personal significance attached as well. If everything had gone according to plan, I would be graduating college this year. Becoming chronically ill dramatically shifted my timeline. But, I like to believe that this timeline is going to bring me more opportunity, joy, and fulfillment than if everything had gone according to plan.

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