So excited to take apart in #myinvisibleproject on instagram and talk about the stigma that surrounds invisible illnesses.

You never know what is going on with someone. Everyone has a story to tell. There are so many of us that have invisible illnesses that can be both mental and physical. I was born a congenital heart defect called Transposition of the Great Arteries with Mustard repair. I’ve had three open heart surgeries and four other minor heart surgeries. However, if you look at me you would never guess what I’ve been through and that I have multiple invisible illnesses. I have become a master at hiding my illnesses.

My scar will eventually fade like it usually does and you often don’t see my scar unless I’m wearing a shirt that shows it. So when you look at me I look like a normal person. This can be a blessing and a curse. Like many of us we are scared to wear our illnesses on our outside. Although I want doctors, friends, family to understand what I am going through it is also tough to open up when there is so much stigma behind invisible illnesses. If I look fine, if I’m able to walk, then it must not be that bad? That when you complain then you must be faking it.

I don’t know what people assume chronic illness is supposed to look like? What having a congenital heart defect, autism, migraines, ptsd, ocd, etc. looks like? So here’s my face. Here’s what I look like, here’s what I deal with. Pull back the layers pain is still hiding underneath the surface.

I know that the more we as a community talk about invisible illnesses and how they affect us the more we can end the stigma.

Published by Amelia Blackwater

I am feminist writer and poet trying to raise awareness on topics such as mental health and physical disabilities. I often write about things such as invisible illnesses and mental health/illness related topics.

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