Chances are if you relate to this, you have a chronic/invisible illness. The holidays are extremely difficult for me, and I got to thinking about how the holidays were five years ago and how they are now. I had a life full of friends, my own family that included kids, stepkids, a husband, a home, and joy. Then I thought about how every year since then, more and more of those things are gone. Fast forward to Friday night, December 13th, 2019, and I’m in my dark room alone watching AHS 1984 for about the 100th time. I just took my fourth handful of pills in my daily regimen, both my hands are in braces, my baseline pain level is 9 all the time, but right now ... eleventy. The only sign of the holidays is the two rolls of wrapping paper in the corner. Gone are the smiles and laughter, gone are the fun events leading up to Christmas, and the joy. I have to actively look for reasons to smile. Everyone has gone on with their lives and I don’t even blame them. This post isn’t to get sympathy, but to let the others know that they aren’t alone. I too suffer from chronic invisible illnesses and I understand. Sometimes it’s in the knowing that someone else is going through it too that gives us a reason to keep going whether we are white knuckling to the next day, the next hour, or even the next minute.