Invisible Until Visible Diseases
Ever heard of things like anxiety, grief, depression, or addiction just to name a few? These things make up part of a list a mile long of things many struggle with all the time even if most people only see the major side effects some of the time. I never fully recognized such things until I started dealing with my own invisible disease called nerve damage. I can actually identify with all of the above struggles I mentioned. My permanent nerve damage alone has given me much anxiety, lots of grief, and definitely seasons of depression. Only by the grace of God am I not addicted to narcotics or some other heavy drug. However, I know for a fact that without even a day of my nerve pain medication I would not even be able to have a focused conversation.
So many people struggle with things that others never notice. Especially if from the outside that person looks perfectly fine. Or because people who battle like me rarely go out of the house especially when they are feeling their worst. I now understand why so many people are taken by surprise when they’ve only seen one extreme and then hear about things shifting to another extreme. I’m sure I’ve had over a hundred neurological seizures myself just in the past 2 years. My nerve pain is so severe it can take over my body from feet to face in seconds. Only my wife, mom, and a few friends have really observed the extreme visible side effects of my invisible disease.
Now, I’m not writing this for self-pity. In fact, many of you reading this likely battle with an invisible until visible disease. I do hope to raise awareness that we all need to try a lot harder to look beyond the surface of what our eyes can see. Make sure you seek to truly understand the people in front of you who may be dealing with a fierce battle on the inside that you can’t always see extremely on the outside. Love them where they are not where you want them to be. Pray for them instead of belittling them for a battle they can’t totally control. Give them grace to take their mask off and bear their heartache if necessary. But, whatever you do don’t think you can always judge by the outside what is really going on inside.
“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”