I admit before I became ill I would prejudge people who I thought didn’t look sick enough or disabled enough to park in handicap places or ride in electric carts at the grocery store. Once I became sick with so many invisible illnesses, I realized that now people were looking at me and thinking about me what I had thought of others. Now when I became ill I was only 21, so I do blame some of my thoughts/behavior on the fact that I was so young. But I wonder if even now, almost 20 years later and much more mature, if I would think the same thoughts as I had as a teenager if I were still healthy?
I have learned the hard way, through personal experience, that all we need with invisible illness is compassion and not the automatic assumption that just because we don’t fit a certain stereotypeof what people think sick or disabled should look like.
Times have changed and once maybe the world of handicapped parking as filled mostly with elderly and just those in wheelchairs.The world is not like that anymore and more and more young people and middle aged people are being stricken with invisible illnesses.
I think the most important lesson I have learned is that I don’t take anything for granted and I try not to assume what someone might or might not be dealing with. How has your invisible illness opened your eyes?