Not to "beat a dead horse" or keep with the "same story, different day", but that is EXACTLY what it it like to live with an Invisible/Chronic Illness. Every single day is the "same struggle, different day". We ALL have a choice:
To lay in bed and feel sorry for ourselves, or to smile and try to make it the best day under our circumstances (yes, even while bedridden).
To stay home and hide in shame from our recent shopping experiences, or to hold our head up, swallow our pride, and try again.
To judge people back in the same harsh and ugly way they've treated us, or to realize people judge what they do not understand.
To be angry with others for being ugly, or to pray that their hearts will be softened and they will gain understanding.
To cry when I see the hurt in my children's eyes when strangers are staring/whispering/being bullies, or to smile and hug them, explaining what beautiful souls and compassion they have and will always have for people BECAUSE of my illnesses.
To drown in my self loathing and hatred of my many Invisible Illnesses, or to educate and raise awareness for my illnesses.
So next time you see someone in a wheelchair that looks "normal", struggling to reach an item just barely out of reach, be their arms and help them. If they're having trouble turning around, ask if you can help. If they are in your way momentarily, realize it's very likely not on purpose, and be patient. And above all, if you see someone in a wheelchair, with a walker or cane, don't stare OR avoid eye contact. SMILE and acknowledge them as people too. That woman might be a mom of five children, trying to surprise her hard-working husband on his birthday. That man might be a wounded police officer or soldier, who was shot and injured while protecting YOU. That person might be fighting for their life, slowly losing their battle.
We didn't choose this life. But we choose how to handle it. I choose the second option of each possibility I've listed.
What do YOU choose?