Living with an invisible illness is probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.  When you have a cold it goes away.  When you have the flu it goes away.  When you have the chicken pox it goes away.  Everyone also knows you have those as they are visible.

What happens when you have an illness that nobody can see and you are the only one that can actually feel it? 

That is what I deal with on a day to day basis.  I suffer from Fibromyalgia a chronic illness that nobody really knows what causes it or what really to do for it.  Doctors are just now starting to actually believe it exists, but they still really don’t know how to treat it.

There is no cure, there are only ways that you can prevent yourself from having a flare up and those really are up to the individual.  Not only is the actual pain that you feel throughout your body hard but emotionally it hurts.

Emotionally is where we need the most support as we deal with society looking at us and judging us because they cannot visibly see what we are truly dealing with.  When parking in a handicap spot with an actual handicap sticker you are looked at as though you have committed a crime.

When you have an emotional support animal with you due to they keep you calm so you don’t stress out and cause a flare up people look at you like you are just trying to get your pet on the plane for free.

It is how people look at you and treat you that is the hardest.  It is when your family and friends don’t support you that is the hardest.  Living with an invisible chronic illness is something that is heartbreaking, emotionally draining, and painfully real. 

We need as much support as we can get as staying positive is probably the hardest thing to do. 

I have been living with Fibromyalgia for over 5 years now.  I am lucky in that my family does support me, but there was a time before I was diagnosed that they thought I was just making excuses and that it was all in my head. 

I do take medication and I am one of the lucky that only takes two prescriptions and vitamins.  Mentally it can be draining and you can get tired of having to take all of these things just to function each day.  I have stopped before taking all the vitamins and even skipped the RX but that was a bad idea as it caused a major flare up that lasted for weeks.

Not only does pain come with Fibromyalgia, but it actually causes other problems in your body.  It messes with your gastrointestinal functions, and causes you to have issues with foods that you never had issues with before.  You can develop acid reflux, GERD, chronic constipation, you can have issues with your triglycerides, you can develop livedo reticularis in your limbs.  There are so many other things that this illness impacts and in turn it impacts your life.

Yes, I can tell you from firsthand experience that this all has happened to me.  Each year or every few months something new develops that I have to change the way I eat, the way I exercise, the way that I function each day.  Is it going to change?  No, but I know that and each time that something new comes up I stop and breathe.

Stopping and taking that breathe allows me to stay focused, positive and on the green platform.  If I don’t do that then I would react and turn into a negative and be on the red platform.  Remaining positive is what has helped me deal with each time something new comes up that I have to change.

My most recent thing that came out of my recent appointment is probably the hardest thing so far as being told you are now at risk for heart disease, to have a heart attack or a stroke is not something you take lightly or well.  See my Fibro has messed with my triglycerides and it has nothing to do with my diet, etc. as when you have GERD you have to totally change the way you eat in order to keep that from being an issue.  See when people see that I have issues with my triglycerides they are going to assume I am extremely overweight and don’t eat right and that is actually the total opposite.

This would be another invisible thing that people can’t see that even someone who watches what they eat and is not obese can have issues like this and sometimes it can be due to an invisible illness they have.

It still goes back to before you make an assumption about someone ask them politely if you are curious as I am sure they would not mind talking to you about what might be going on rather than an assumption being made.

Living positive each day is what helps me get through all the negative that surrounds my illness.  Staying positive is not always easy that is why I always take a breath when something is bothering me. 

Fibromyalgia is a horrible illness and it can actually be debilitating as well.  There are so many things out there about it that it is hard to know what is true and what is not so if you really want to know ask the people who actually have the illness as they truly will be your best resource at the moment.

For those that are suffering from Fibromyalgia try and stay positive each day and stop and take that breath. 

Living on the Green Platform is so much better than living on the Red Platform.  

Aimee Reese is passionate about bringing awareness to others about Fibromyalgia.  Aimee has been living with Fibromyalgia for years but was officially diagnosed five years ago. Aimee is the founder of The Green Platform Assistantwhere she believes “In order for you to grow you have to start with knowing who you are”.  Aimee believes by staying positive and on the Green Platform it helps get through the most difficult times when living with an invisible illness.  Aimee lives in Kentucky with her husband Eric and two children.

Contact Aimee: aimee@thegreenplatformassistant.com

Published by Aimee Reese