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Like Riding A Bike

Do you know how to ride a bike? Do you remember learning how to ride your bike? What was it like?

When I was learning, my bike had training wheels. You know, those two smaller wheels which help you maintain balance while you master the art of pedaling and not steering into trees? So maybe you were better with the steering and avoided the trees better than I did!

Once you master those skills and aren't shifting your weight all the time, the training wheels can come off. Let the art of balancing begin!

You may be wondering why I used the first 94 words to talk about riding a bike. The point is, managing your invisible condition is very similar to learning to ride a bike.

You first learn about your condition, how it affects you, what medications and therapy to take, as well as what support is available. This is similar to steering and pedaling your bike.

Balancing is a bit harder, isn't it? When it comes to balancing life with an invisible illness, we have to balance having a quality of life against having a healthy life. Just like riding a bike, this requires constant adjustments.

In the past, I've fallen off my bike so to speak. I've failed to get enough rest or decided to eat unhealthy food all because it is what my friends were doing. Like riding a bike, after a fall like that, I get back on the track of doing what is healthy for me.

When I was eight, I had a terrible fall while riding my bike. I was badly hurt. It took me a long time to get back on my bike. It took even longer to start riding by the place where the incident happened again.

I'm not sure about you, but I have had a few incidents related to my invisible illness that has made me want to avoid revisiting certain places/situations. While at a favorite bookstore, I had the most spectacular crash to the ground. I knocked over books and a shelf while I was falling to the floor so there was no way to hide. Although my physical injuries have healed, I haven't gone back to the bookstore due to embarrassment, which grows stronger the longer I stay away. So I need to get back on that bike soon after all this wasn't something I could have prevented.

I hope you don't have as many balancing issues as I've had, but if you do, know you aren't alone.

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