10 Ways to Support Someone with an Invisible Illness
Someone you love dearly has an invisible illness, and it can be difficult to know how to support them. Their illness can be confusing, they don't look sick, they don't always have answers to their problems, seem to have endless appointments and procedures, and it can be hard to know how you can help. Some days they feel great and lead a "typical" life, their Instagram feed is filled with smiling pictures and quotes about overcoming struggles so you may even think they're "cured." The funny thing about invisible illness is that most of these people will have to deal with for their lifetime. They learn how to manage the symptoms, they can have surgery to correct things, they have good days, but it may be something they may to contend with forever.
For us, it's extra hard because our immediate family doesn't live close. It's so much easier for me to ask for help from my mom, then it is to ask a friend. They need you more than you probably realize. And you may be more on the giving end then on the receiving end. We've had so many well meaning people, tons of friends and family members who've said, "If you need anything, please let me know." The problem with that offer is we'll never take you up on it. Even if we need help, we feel like too much of a burden or too awkward to "cold call", even if we've known you forever.
I've come up with a short list of 10 ways you can support someone with an invisible illness. Hopefully they can help you navigate through the tough waters while doing something that will help your loved one feel supported and give them relief.