Have you ever noticed how sometimes the smallest words have the biggest impact? The word no, for example, is just two tiny letters put together. It can act as a noun, an adverb, an exclamation, or a warning. For those of us with chronic, invisible conditions, it can be hard to hear. Typically we hear that word when someone says there is no cure. There is no surgery to fix this. No, things will not go back to how they were before, not exactly anyway. I bet, if you reflect on it, you can see how quickly the word no appears to us. No, you can't sunbathe. No, you can't skip your meds. And on and on it goes. For the same group of us, the word no can be so hard to say too. No, I can't go out with you. No, I don't feel well. Instead, we say yes because it allows us to feel typical or normal again. Yes, I am going to join you at the beach. Yes, I am going to spend the weekend away. However, when we say yes to others, we are saying no to ourselves. No to our health being our primary focus. No doing everything we can to improve or maintain or health. Why do we struggle with no so much? Probably because we look like everyone else, so people expect us to be like them. Maybe it is because we want to forget about our conditions for a bit and have a typical experience. Sometimes it is because we don't want to hear or say no so often. Next time someone makes you feel bad for saying no to them, remember, this isn't so much a no to them as it is you saying yes to yourself!