Feeling Invisible with Fibromyalgia

Feeling Invisible with Fibromyalgia
We've all heard and talked about how fibromyalgia is an invisible illness. You can look fine on the outside while you're anything but on the inside. But there's another kind of invisibility that we may not talk about as much. Our new "normal" makes us invisible to people who used to be a part of our world. Our friends and family are busy, so it feels like no one notices that we're no longer around. That is one of the hardest things for me. It's painful when you feel isolated and lonely because it seems you've been left behind. No one wants to feel like they no longer matter. Sometimes it feels like I'm on a staircase going nowhere while others pass me by. They come and go, chatting and laughing, while I'm stuck and feeling invisible.  It's easy to feel detached from the living part of life because of our limitations and physical disability. Maybe it's because people feel uncomfortable and don't know how to react when they learn about our illness. Maybe we inadvertently push others away. It's like we are coated in invisible ink, making us visible only to others who also are suffering. This is from a column I wrote in 2016:
"Please don’t forget about us and drop out of our lives. It makes a complicated situation more painful and lonely. It’s so hard feeling socially isolated! When you invite us somewhere or include us in your plans, we may have to cancel at the last minute. Don’t take it personal
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