I ran across this article from The Mighty and wanted to share here. I can not tell you how many times I have heard this phrase: “You must be getting/feeling better, you are doing so much!” Or at least something along those lines.
Not only do I suffer from mental illness, but I also suffer from chronic pain. Regardless, both are “invisible” and are not fully comprehensible to the naked eye. I suffer in silence most of the time. Yes, I do vocalize my feelings A LOT, but to my family, and I’m sure they are tired of hearing about it too. But I don’t care. Maybe that is selfish of me. But vocalizing is a form of therapy for me. Sometimes you just want people to know that while you may look like a ray of sunshine, you are really feeling quite the opposite.
People mean well when they say phrases like this. They want you to know, that they notice that you are doing more and SEEM to be doing better from their perspective. That is when you have to correct them.
“Thank you for noticing, but I’m actually having a really rough time right now, and I’m just trying to work through it.”
To be an outsider of an invisible illness, is to never understand. We depend on our eyes to show us the truth. But we have several other senses we should be using also. I believe we also as the sufferer, should be able to correct people who are assuming. This is one of the many ways we can break the stigma.