What My Invisible Illness(es) Have Taught Me


  • That we can be our own worst enemies, but also that we can be our own best friends. We can be a champion for ourselves, if only we speak to ourselves with more kindness & treat ourselves with more compassion.
  • There are a lot of ignorant people out there. There’s a lot of ignorance in the world in general, where you’ll often come across prejudice and a lack of understanding and empathy.
  • … But there’s also a lot of honest, caring, compassionate, wonderful people out there.
  • The online world is a wonderful space for learning, sharing, communicating and giving/receiving support. I have learned I love to blog!

  • It’s okay to admit you need help. It’s okay to admit you’re struggling. It’s okay tolook after yourself without feeling guilty. And it’s totally okay to be yourself, unapologetically.
  • It can be hard to be spontaneous, but also hard to plan when you don’t know quite how you’ll feel from one day to the next. Being more flexible and going with the flow is important, but easier said than done.
  • That there are many people struggling with invisible illnesses; I am not alone. You are not alone.
  • That I can feel as though I’m being judged for looking fine and normal, like there’s nothing wrong with me because I “don’t look sick”. It can make me feel like a fraud. Sometimes it makes me want to scream.

  • Our experiences are uniquely our own and shouldn’t be compared to others. We go at our own pace.
  • There is no one size fits all plan for how to experience illness, pain or healing; there is no guideline or timeframe we must meet for how we should cope or feel emotionally, either.
  • That you have to take the good with the bad, the rough with the smooth. There will be some soul crushing moments, perhaps when you least expect them.
  • … There is also such joy in the smallest of things; this can take a huge change in perspective to appreciate sometimes, so we should more often to take the time to see and love these things we so often take for granted, no matter how small. 

  • Acceptance can be incredibly hard. I find myself frustrated, devastated, angry and disheartened when I wonder where my 20s have gone, and when I look to the future with worry and uncertainty.
  • Sometimes you just have to go how you’re feeling & trust your body; look after it, listen to what it’s telling you, and rest when you need to. Our health doesn’t always fit with social norms, ideals and daily schedules. 
  • I have greater empathy as a result of my illnesses and greater assertiveness as a result of having to fight my corner at every step of the way. I have a greater understanding of health and life in general.
  • Regardless of how long you’ve had whatever it is your dealing with, it can all be a continual learning curve. Some days will be better than others. Some days you cope, some you don’t, and that’s okay.


  • Looking after yourself isn’t an indulgence or something to feel guilty about. It’s incredibly important.
  • There’s not always a rhyme or reason for why things happen; you may never get an adequate explanation of what’s wrong or what’s caused it. As frustrating as it is, sometimes things simply are. 
  • I’ve also learned that I can cope with more than I thought I could, and that despite rough times, we are capable of perseverance. We need to learn that when things get tough, we can get tougher.




  1. February 7, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    True. True. and more True, all of it. You’re strong and powerful. <3

    • February 9, 2018 / 3:53 pm

      Thank you Masha – It was hard to keep the list concise because I feel I could have gone on for a while longer! x

  2. February 7, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    Great post. Hang in there!

  3. February 7, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    This is fantastic Caz. I agree with every single word! The empathy, the assertiveness, the strength, the difficulties and the love for the support online all of it. I feel like I’ve learnt so much but there’s still lot’s to learn. xx

  4. February 7, 2018 / 5:30 pm

    So many good points. It’s such a learning process and the call is indeed for tenderness toward self.

    • February 9, 2018 / 3:58 pm

      Definitely a learning process, and I think we need the reminder to be more gentle with ourselves as we take each step. Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

  5. February 7, 2018 / 5:33 pm

    Made total sense. Like your thoughts.
    Do well. Live well. 🙂

    • February 9, 2018 / 3:59 pm

      Thank you Shubham, glad you liked the post 🙂

  6. February 7, 2018 / 6:03 pm

    These are all so true! I think the biggest one I’ve learnt is that its ok to admit when you need help. I use to just try and manage everything on my own, but it’s much nicer realising you don’t have too and that others helping can make such a difference. 🙂
    Brilliant list. 🙂 xxx

    • February 9, 2018 / 4:07 pm

      That’s very true, it can be that bit of weight off you when you share what you’re going through and enlist a little help. Thanks for the lovely comment 🙂

  7. February 7, 2018 / 6:25 pm

    What a fantastic list. I agree with all of these. One you mention that I find tough, is that sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason for why things happen – like if I’m having a flare, trying to suss out what’s caused it. You’re right that things sometimes “just are” and there is no explanation for it. I have also found the online community to be so supportive, which helps so much xx

    • February 9, 2018 / 4:35 pm

      I find that really tough too. It’s just our instinct to want a reason and a cause, which also helps us to understand things and work out how to prevent or manage in future. Thanks for taking the time to leave such a great comment Emma and I’m glad you’ve also found the online world to be so supportive 🙂

  8. February 7, 2018 / 6:55 pm

    What a wonderful post Caz! Invisible illnessess are definitely a never-ending series of learning experiences. You’re so right that we can be our own worst enemies or best friends. If only we could all learn to be more kind to ourselves and make self-care a priority….. Hugs to you!🤗

    • February 9, 2018 / 4:39 pm

      It’s easier said than done being our own best friends, isn’t it? It’s strange that it should be that way, but it is, though once we realise there’s a choice in how we treat ourselves perhaps we can be a little kinder. Thank you so much for the lovely comment Terri – hugs right back to you! Hope you have a lovely weekend 🙂

  9. LauVa
    February 7, 2018 / 7:25 pm

    Thank you for the reminder. ❤️

    • February 9, 2018 / 4:57 pm

      We all need the reminders every now and then – glad you liked the post & thanks for the comment 🙂

  10. February 7, 2018 / 8:02 pm

    This is all so, so true! The little milestones can make such a difference on an off day. Having vitamin deficiencies means I often feel a bit sub-par on the energy front, and can relate to people thinking I “don’t look sick”. Luckily, as you said, there are lots of kind, compassionate people out there 🙂

    • February 9, 2018 / 4:41 pm

      Deficiencies can be so under-appreciated too when they leave you feeling so awful (yet looking fine!) Take heart because you’re not alone and there are people out there that ‘get it’. Thanks for the great comment Rosie – have a lovely weekend 🙂 x

  11. February 7, 2018 / 8:36 pm

    A very well written post, which gives a lot of food for thought, if you have an invisible illness or not. I think the part about empahty is especially true, whatever bad experience or illness or issue you have had, it usually results in greater empathy for other people. Your post also highlights the need to be in tune with your body and look after it properly. I for one am guilty of thinking about my body in terms of how it looks (not how I would like it to) rather than viewing my body as a tool.

    • February 9, 2018 / 4:44 pm

      What you’ve just said about seeing your body in terms of how it looks rather than as a tool and as something to nourish is so true and something I’ve really struggled with as well. I guess it’s a case of being aware of how you view it first, then reminding yourself regularly of all the small and amazing things your body does that add up to keeping you alive and moving and thinking and feeling. Bit by bit, seeing those small things can help you to focus on your body in different ways rather than clothing sizes, numbers on a scale, wobbly bits and cellulite (easier said than done, but your body deserves it!) Thanks for the comment Suzanne!! Caz xx

  12. February 7, 2018 / 10:11 pm

    This is so beautiful. Really made me think and every word really ran true with me 💝

    • February 9, 2018 / 4:46 pm

      Thank you – I’m glad you liked the post and I’d like to say I’m glad you could relate (but at the same time I wish you didn’t have to go through these things to learn these lessons). Thanks for the comment Hannah! Have a lovely weekend xx

  13. February 7, 2018 / 10:38 pm

    I was going to comment on one or two of the ‘spot on’ lessons learned but they are all of value! I need to repost… this is an amazing one Caz. Amazing. ~Kim

  14. February 7, 2018 / 10:42 pm

    Caz, do you allow reblogging? I’d love to put it on Stone in the Road. It is my blog from a collection of writers that I follow.

    • February 9, 2018 / 4:47 pm

      Aw that’s so kind of you, thanks Kim! I don’t think there’s a reblog button because I’m self-hosted, but you’re very welcome to share the link however you can (maybe just copy/paste). Thanks and I’m glad you liked the post! 🙂
      Have a lovely weekend xx

  15. February 8, 2018 / 2:21 am

    Love this list Caz. You are awesome. I love how despite your struggles you have so much light and help to give others. Xx

    • February 9, 2018 / 4:48 pm

      I don’t quite know what to say… it’s strange because a lot of the time I think I’m so negative and have nothing to offer, so it’s wonderful that even just a little something I share on here can be a positive thing, and a source of information or support for others. Thank you so much! 🙂

  16. February 8, 2018 / 6:11 pm

    Such a great post! The Internet has been a wonderful place for connecting with people for support. I am so glad that I found your blog. I may not comment much, but I do read it often.

    • February 9, 2018 / 4:50 pm

      The Internet may have it’s drawbacks and dangers, but it certainly can be such a benefit when it comes to help and support and shared experiences. I’m glad you have found it beneficial too, and thank you so much for visiting and commenting Cheryl, I appreciate it more than you know. Take care and have a relaxing weekend 🙂

  17. February 8, 2018 / 8:41 pm

    Wonderful thoughts. It is so important to keep track of the good things.

    • February 9, 2018 / 4:51 pm

      It can be easy to miss them or not remember them, so it definitely is a good idea to keep track of those good things when we can! 🙂

    • February 9, 2018 / 4:52 pm

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked it and could relate (well, I’m not happy you had to experience everything you had to be able to appreciate the same lessons, but you know what I mean!) 🙂
      Take care xx

  18. February 9, 2018 / 12:40 pm

    Such a wonderful (and important) post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences on this. <3

    • February 9, 2018 / 4:53 pm

      Thank you, I’m glad you liked it! 🙂

  19. February 10, 2018 / 9:36 am

    Another real and relatable post, Caz. Thanks for sharing and helping others out there xx

  20. February 10, 2018 / 10:09 am

    Invisible illnesses have massive impacts on the people with them.

    Its also a shame that unless others ‘see’ an illness, they often act like it doens’t exist. I’ve just joined the disability forum at work trying to make my company more accessible to everyone.

    It will be a long journey but certainly worth it.


    The Reverend

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