Invisible Illness


Today I have retreated to bed for the day. As hard as I try, it is very difficult for friends and colleagues to understand the peculiarities of my mental illness. You have all seen me with my happy face on, sometimes it’s forced but mostly it’s not. My mood today is nothing to with our current circumstances. I have days like this every fortnight or so and somehow I will have to relate this in an application form to apply for Disability Benefit. If only you could just attach a photograph, eh?

My intellectual capacity and usual appearance will undermine an application so I expect to be refused at least twice even with the backing of my psychiatrist who has known me for 11 years. I saw him yesterday and although he cannot take any more patients he said he would continue to see me no matter the future insurance. What a sweetheart he is.

The holiday season always takes its toll on me. I take on too much, forget that no amount of wine will take away my social anxiety and everyone tells me how great I look, ironically. I was looking forward to going to work today despite feeling tired. My ‘healthy’ appearance at the Christmas party had fooled my boss into giving me an extra duty that I always excel at but it wipes me out. When I got the schedule last night I wanted to cry – I just couldn’t do it.

The extra duty was training. I have a variety of post college training certificates in this and myriad other fields (the oddest was funeral counselling skills). When you are feeling mentally exhausted, you may as well be climbing Everest. I am annoyed at myself, at my boss, at the world and at my genetics. It is so frustrating to see other people working normally. My psychiatrist is the same age as me – he had worked at a hospital in the morning, was seeing out-patients until at least 6.30 pm and looked as fresh as a daisy. He was mentally sharp and even made me fall over laughing at his wit.

I didn’t write this for pity but you can sympathize if you like. Tomorrow, I will be back to my usual self and focus on physical tasks such washing the deck. I suppose the exercise gurus are correct about exercise being good for the brain and body but personally I love the satisfaction of completing a useful task. If anyone has any cows to herd, I will be available… 🙂

37 thoughts on “Invisible Illness

  1. Hope you are feeling better by the time you read this message! Am sending good vibes your way for sure. Quick question-are you based in the UK? If so, am happy to give advice/info re: Disability benefits-total expert me! Feel better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I am in Texas and it is complicated because I lived in the UK so they base it on reciprocal SS and a different standard. I worked in mental health and helped others with their application forms. It’s tricky evaluating mental illness. 🙂 I so appreciate your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ahh ok. Sure no problem. It really is a different standard. And now with the recent changes in welfare benefits in the UK, everyone is largely confused. I have also helped people with their forms-it is not as much fun as say, eating chocolate cake but hey-application forms are a necessary evil. Have worked with welfare benefits at a law centre in London and the CAB as well. Anyway, that’s me. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • sure. You are probably right. I often refer to : ‘The Disability Rights Handbook’ am not sure who publishes it-but its like my ‘work bible’ it explores and explains on how to maximise points-as you are given points regarding your disability. In brief, mental disabilities are harder to judge using the point system. Which is a shame, really. Oh girl, do not get me started! But the entire system needs an overhaul!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Those of us who are benignly nuts (as i call it… Meaning a mental illness that doesn’t make us hurt people) always have a harder time around the holidays. But as you said, we wax an wane. It will get better soon. Just hang on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh dear Kerry. I am so sorry to hear yo are feeling like this. I am very lucky I have not had an episode of wanting to retreat away for some time now but I know exactly how you feel.
    All you can do is go with it and look after yourself. Treat it as some time to recharge and get your head straight and you will be sure to come back smiling your beautiful smile again.
    Be Well.
    Cameron x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I get very very angry at the lack of understanding of Mental Health issues. Worldwide it is the biggest epidemic and the biggest killer and yet we continue to treat it as some sort of selfishness. Something that the sufferer wants to have. Something that does not count as a disability and yet is the most debilitating of conditions. I send you warmth, I send you love, I send you smiles. Pick them up when you can and hold them close.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, thank you, Osyth. I am so grateful for all the support I receive from you (and my other friends) and that I have self awareness. A good doctor is worth so much and yet why should it cost so much? He is one of the good ones – accepting everything from Medicaid to United Healthcare. He made me laugh this session because he started proselytizing about his calling. My eyebrow must have raised slightly and then he said, ” and then there is the sanctimonious evangelists full of their own importance”. What a wit – we both fell about laughing. I would be smiling today but my crazy cat is sick – off to the vet shortly. Hugs K

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So brave, you are. As always. Thank you for sharing how you’re feeling and trusting us to be here for you.

    You’re always so beautiful and positive, shining your light for others and persevering through so much. I know you’ll pull through this, but for now you rest. Rest and know that you are supported and understood, no matter how you’re feeling.

    Much love and peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I had a nightmare last night about being thrown out of my home (with dead relatives) because I couldn’t get a job because of my illness. I was relieved to wake up and realized it was half right. Wouldn’t we be so much happier without psyches? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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