You aren’t invisible; I see you

Editorial column written by Maria McCoy

I see you.

The one who takes a few minutes after parking to get out of your car because you want to avoid the crowds at the grocery store.

The one who walks slowly, leaning on the cart because the pain is too much to bear.

The one who has become introverted as a consequence of life.

I see you. I know how difficult it is for you to do things normal people take for granted.

Some days you can’t even get out of bed, preferring instead to lay there dreaming of days when you could wash dishes without your hands cramping or your legs giving out. And the tears come when you least expect them, because who cries over being able to do dishes? I do, sometimes. I know you do, too.

I see you. I see you when you move all the way up against the store shelf to keep from being jarred by another shoppers hurrying by, and I see you when you take a deep breath before walking up a curb or a stair.

Even when you think nobody is paying attention- I do, but you have become the greatest liar because you feel like you always have to say, “I’m fine.” You always feel you have to say that because nobody wants to hear about how not fine we really are.

Maybe you aren’t a liar, after all. Maybe it all depends on how you define “fine.” Today, “fine” means that you can go to the grocery store and walk a few aisles before you get tired or that you can get out of bed and actually cook a meal for your kids.

Tomorrow, “fine” may mean that you woke up and that’s all you’ll be able to do that day.

Either way, I empathize with you. My son is “fine” most days. He doesn’t tell people or even act like something as simple as breathing is painful, but it is for him. He will go quietly to the bathroom and vomit and then return to class like nothing happened.

He will do this multiple times a day. You can look at him and never know his struggle. He fights even when he doesn’t feel like fighting, and I know that you do, too.

War has been waged against you and it comes from within. Those are the longest and most arduous battles to fight.

The ones where you are the winner and the loser, but keep fighting because I see you. The real you. The one you used to be and the one you inevitably are.

The real silent majority. The ones who suffer their pain in silence because the grief of losing yourself is too great a burden for others to bear.

You hide it because you want them to see the person you used to be, but we will never be who we were. We weren’t meant to remain that person forever. You can do it. Please don’t give up. Just keep swimming.



  1. Angie Stokes says:

    Sheila you know I love the GRIP and YOU! This article “I See You” was like the writer has been following me around. I am not the person I used to be. You know that person. I have to deal with the person I am now which o. Some days are unbearable. It is hard because even your closest friends do not understand and I try really really hard not to let them see me that way. Just the laughing funny me…Not the screaming in the inside, scared of big crowds me. Thank you to the author of this article and thank you for being my friend always! Angie Stokes

  2. Sharon M Bowen says:

    The article You aren’t invisible, was moving. I wanted the writer to know that I am one of those she was describing. Her article reached into my soul. She was stating things that I know that no one knows because I always fine no matter how I feel. Thank you so much .

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