Community Magazine

Living with an Invisible Illness

By Gran13

My son opened up to me on one occasion when he was particularly down, and this is what he said:

I am exhausted and silently abandoned, tired and overworked. My psychiatrist often lets me down, and so do others. I have been labeled which is difficult, but is being labeled worse than the cacophony going on in my head? I don’t often feel safe. I am lonely and scared. Will I ever get better? Will I ever stop going in and out of psychiatric hospital where I feel like a prisoner when the door to the closed ward clangs shut? I have taken pills for so many years that there are times when I feel I will choke on them. I show the peaceful side of myself to people, to ‘Them,  that persecute me,’ but there is a war raging inside of me. All I want is a job – not one manufactured for people with an invisible illness; a real job. I long for a girlfriend, for someone to love. Everyone needs love. Everyone needs someone to turn to. If people could see what was going on inside of my head, they would see that I am ill. I want to shout out loud that mental illness is real even if it unseen. LISTEN TO ME OUT THERE. I NEED TO BE UNDERSTOOD. MENTAL ILLNESS NEEDS TO BE UNDERSTOOD.’

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