Life with a chronic invisible syndrome gives you a certain perspective into the world. There isn’t one thing in your existence that isn’t touched by it.

You lie in bed and wake up to a gentle ache of stiff muscles beginning to ease into their routine. Only the ache doesn’t subside when you stand under hot water washing away the night.

A sociable well-meaning touch to say hello can turn into a well-spring of agony when a tender point is hit.

Fine, you say through gritted teeth. Fine.

Plans that you look forward to, turn into obligations to smile and pretend that everything is normal. Fine.

Needs to make you feel better are unattainable because people don’t believe you when you speak up for yourself because you look fine.

Pain is also hurt when dismissals echo into your brain telling you that your story must be one of trauma that you haven’t yet integrated. Do this. Do that. Surely that has to work so you can be fine.

Fine you say. I’m fine. Because no one really wants to know. But fine is relative. Fine is a persistent aching need for comfort, for functionality. Pain is always there. Functionality is an ever moving target.

Raw, crooked, shards of red and orange intersperse the cravings of ocean blue stillness willing themselves to embed into a relief seeking cellular structure.

Failure is a dance you can’t afford. Stopping is not an option because if you stop you won’t begin again.

Fine is ever moving forward momentum.

But fine is also suffocation. The gap between lies and authenticity.

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