“Social media allows us to hide behind our screens and show only the shiny, best parts of our lives. Today, I am choosing to share who I really am. Because, while I may not look sick, I am.” (Anne Schober)
Written thirteen months ago, the words above were penned by one of the creators of the new book, Invincible – Finding the Light Beyond the Darkness of Chronic Illness. She posted her story of living with an invisible illness on her social media and decided to immediately unplug for a few days. When she opened each site a few days later, she was stunned by the reactions. Garnering more than 500 comments and responses, she was completely overwhelmed. Who knew that an almost 60-year-old woman with Rheumatoid Arthritis would have that much influence on social media?
But she did.
And she needed help.
Mollie Ayers, who is fighting her own “invisible” illness, emailed Anne almost immediately and said she would be willing to help bring the dream of creating an inspirational book into a beautiful reality. Together, they formed an edited, polished team who followed-up with each person who commented, reached out privately, or sent emails. Through this process, they were able to discover who were ready to share their stories and help to bring empathy, awareness, and compassion to those who don’t “look” sick.
Anne Schober and Mollie Ayers, along with 26 other chronic illness warriors, share their stories through topics including anger, denial, and grief through acceptance, triumphs, and joys. A labor of love, Invincible is written with honesty, encouragement, and hopefulness. Each story is anonymous. Each story is truthful. Each story is powerful. Each story is worth reading.
When they began this journey, they thought of themselves as “28 invisible warriors” because many of them do not “look” sick. It was through the writing process where all 28 authors fully came to understand that they are not invisible, they are Invincible. They are ready to share their stories. They are warriors.