To you, I look normal.
To me, I look like I am fighting for my life on a daily basis.
To you, I look happy.
To me, I look like I am trying to forget I am sick.
To you, I look full of energy.
To me, I look like I am hiding my exhaustion.
To you, I look confident.
To me, I look like I have no worth or value.
To you, I look pleased.
To me, I look like I am in constant pain.
To you, I look successful.
To me, I look like I am struggling.
To you, I look strong.
To me, I look lonely, weak, frustrated and on the verge of breaking down.
To you, I look like I am free.
To me, I look like I am forever imprisoned by a disease I didn’t deserve.
To you, I look in control.
To me, I am a vessel for chaos.
To you, I look just like everyone else.
To me, I look like someone who wishes she were.
To you, I look healthy.
To me, I look like I have a chronic disease
National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is September 14 – 20, 2009.
Nearly 1 in 2 Americans have a chronic disease. More than half of those chronic diseases cannot be seen. More than half of those appear healthy, look good and seem ‘normal’. Diabetes is one of those diseases.
When I walk down the street, no one would ever guess that I am sick. I have friends and family members who forget because I look just like them. Just like them….but I am not. I am not just like you and no matter how hard I wish, hope and pray that I were, I’m just not. One of my greatest fears is that I will never be.
The person you see before you is here only because of persistence, daily maintenance, great effort and great sacrifice. The person you see before you is angry at her body, is frustrated with insurances, is jealous of you, and is fearful over the future. The person you see also deserves a cure because she did not ask for this invisible illness. She did nothing wrong and yet has to do everything right in order to live through this day.
What you may see isn’t necessarily what is real. Today, what you see before you is a Type 1 Diabetic. A Type 1 Diabetic who feels this chronic disease every moment of every day. A Type 1 Diabetic who deserves a cure. Please help me fight for it so I maybe I can be just like you.
American Diabetes Association