Sharing this article by my friend Nornoriel Lokason from his Patheos blog because I can relate to so much of this, too! My own invisible disabilities (fibromyalgia, IBS, and Raynaud’s disease) are not primarily mental, although fibro certainly does have some mental aspects to it, including the infamous “fibro fog”–which is NOT just from not getting enough sleep, thank you very much doctors, but is also due to having to deal with constant, unrelenting pain. It has been documented that some people with fibro have lost as much as 20 points off their measured IQ. But people react very similarly to physical invisible illnesses as they do to mental ones, including not understanding why I work only part time (yes, I work at home for myself too, but here I can control my environment–control of temperature being especially important for the Raynaud’s, work at my own pace and not have to struggle mentally if I don’t have it in me that day, can key my tasks to how I’m feeling and what I’m capable of at the time, have more freedom to move about physically, am not stuck at a desk, and have bathroom access whenever I need it–so there’s a big difference), not seeing why I can’t be asked to do certain things even though I “seem fine,” or why I always need a seat on the bus, etc. Being a high-functioning person with an invisible illness does not mean the invisible illness is not there–and unfortunately, being nearly fifty with fibro is not the same as being twenty-something and having it, either.