Sep 14, 2010

national invisible illness week.

hey friends! i'm still catching up on my INSANE google reader back-up, so bear with me! i really can't wait to get to read all your lovely posts!

i want to bring light to something that's close to my heart today. this week is National Invisible Illness Week, raising awareness for an issue i pray you guys never deal with.

1 of 2 americans will have a chronic illness at some point in their lives, and 96% of them won't be physically visible. whether it's diabetes, heart disease, chronic fatigue, or many others, each day millions suffer in silence. they look fine from the outside, but please don't underestimate the intensity of symptoms they hide behind their eyes. when you live with chronic illness, you learn many tricks to maintain some level of normalcy.

chronic illnesses can be depressing, heartbreaking, and make you feel it's not worth the effort to keep going. the best thing in the world to combat those emotions is knowing your life does matter.

this week, please take the time to remind someone that's sick of just that: their life matters. give them a (gentle!) hug. tell them how much they mean to you, and how brave they are. tell them they make you so proud, and how much you appreciate all their efforts.

some of my favorite incredible warriors, overcoming their daily obstacles?

melissa, from melissa nibbles
susan, from coffee and the paper
christie, from honoring health
sarah, from gluten free tries vegan
chuck, from feerless food
the daily bloggers from Rest Ministries
ayla, from high on healthy
nattie, from morsels of life

and many, many other sweethearts who have written me emails about their challenges, be they food allergies, chronic conditions, emotional eating, or family struggles. i am so blessed to know you all, and you keep me constantly amazed... i thank god for you!

please, will you join me in celebrating those lives that most definitely are worth the struggle?

is there someone with chronic disease in your life? what struggles do you see them face?
if you have an illness, what makes your day brighter?


  1. Great thing to call attention to. So often in our society "health" means what you look like, which is not true. Health is a huge topic and so many people are struggling with big, scary issues and illnesses that may not be visible.

  2. Thank you, Rebekah. I don't know what it was but reading this made me cry.

    YOU make my day brighter, thank you so much for being there for me. <3

  3. Thank you for this Rebekah!

    What brightens my days is bringing hope and joy to others.

  4. I'm with you on the backed up google reader... I swear every time I am almost caught up, thirty more updates pop up. Good thing I absolutely love catching up :)

    Thank you so much for this post though.. I had no idea that 'National Invisible Illness' week was even a thing! What makes my day brighter? Knowing that I have animals and people who count on me every single day!

  5. Rebekah - You are courageous and you inspire me everyday. I watch you conquer your pain and weakness in order to treasure all that each day brings you. Your heart breaks for the issues and illnesses of people whose faces you've never seen. Life would be a much harder and sadder journey without you, and I am privileged to be touched by your life each day. Please know how very very special you are to each of us that know you in any way and that your life matters tremendously. Keep loving and keep trusting.


  6. I just heard about this week yesterday and think it's a wonderful way to draw attention to these illnesses. I was wondering, are individuals with chronic mental illness (also invisible) included?

    As Terri says above, you really do inspire me and I know you inspire others as well. You demonstrate such grace is coping with your illness. Thanks for the reminder about seeing what may seem invisible and the introduction to some new blogs (though my google reader already hates me for being so overloaded right now!).

  7. Hey! Thanks for the shout-out. I saw your Tweet this morning and checked out the website and am really glad I did. Today was a tough day for wanting to act on impulses, but fatigue from this weekend not letting me. I had a really good talk with my dad and he helped me through it. I also reminded myself of all the things you always tell me. It helps.
    Thanks Rebekah!

  8. Thank you for increasing peoples awareness and knowledge of conditions that are not necessarily visible, yet have an impact on both the sufferes, and his/her loved ones.

    My father suffer from depression, and it pains me to see. He can go from happy to the darkest of places in a matter of seconds, caused by something completely irrational. It has been hard to accept, and hard to know how to deal with this - but we are gradually getting better in noticing when he feels down, and then do our very best to support him. Because the comments he give when he is depressed is not words he genuinely mean, and it cause him a lot of pain too to know that he acts in such ways.

    What makes my days easier in times of intense attacks from my eating disorder is to think about all the amazing people I know, feeling the love from my dog and walk out the door to be embraced by the beautiful nature.

  9. you all are so amazing!

    mom - i can't even say thank you enough. this made me cry because i feel the most grateful for knowing YOU. YOU are my sunshine.

    ashley - i think any illness that causes you pain, physical or emotional, that isn't obvious at first glance is worth raising awareness for this week (and all illness, really). i believe the emotional/mental is a more difficult struggle than the physical anyways, but that's just my two cents worth.

  10. i guess i never really considered gluten intolerance/celiac an invisible disease until i saw someone else post about it being their invisible disease.
    i guess since i've been blessed with being able to control and manage it so well, i forgot it's an actual "condition."
    and yes, it is a autoimmune disease with life threatening complications if not managed.
    i was always determined that it would make me BETTER and not BITTER. by the grace of God, i believe it has :)

  11. heather - any physical challenge counts! praise god for strength :)


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