Invisible, inhospitable only subtly detectable
To be accused as pretending is completely unacceptable

You can’t see that each day is filled with excruciating pain
It feels like poison is flowing and ripping through my veins

You can’t see the thick black fog that fills my brain
It clouds my memories and all I know, what’s my name again?

You can’t see that my insides are in tatters
Every day I wake to a new day of battle

You don’t see behind closed doors
You don’t see me in a heap on the floor

You don’t see when exhaustion leaves me paralysed
Helplessly laying there I can’t move or talk, I’m terrified

There is often so much more than meets the eye
I have power only in the words that I can write

Don’t judge on only what your eyes can see
The truth might be hidden, they might be sick invisibly, like me.

Remember we all have hidden depths. Don't just assume an illness is always visible. Don't just assume being disabled means being visibly disabled. Invisible illness sufferers have a hard time getting people to believe they are sick, don't be one of those people who questions it. Don't judge them. Invisible illness month is coming to an end, but I will continue to be an advocate. To me invisible illness sufferers are not invisible, I see them, and I see that they are strong.

If you haven't yet seen M.E: The Visual Campaign which highlights invisible illness through photography, see it here here

You can't see: Invisible illness

Hi lovely people! I just want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who was so kind last week during M.E awareness week. I have been so overwhelmed with the support I have received, emails, comments, and the amount of people who came forward and shared my story in some way. The response I got from my visual campaign was completely unexpected and made me SO SO happy! I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have even been left teary eyed a few times - which is saying something because I'm quite a tough ole' cookie!

Special thanks go to the bloggers who had me guest post on their blogs for the cause - please go and visit their blogs, they are all amazing and such kind people too.

Francis from my home City:
Inger from the Canyon, USA:
Jim from Canada:
Enid from Australia:

Thank you to all who shared my links on their blogs, and those who even had me feature in the sidebar (I'm looking at you D.G!)

Words can't say how moved I am following awareness week. Thank you.

P.S If you have no idea what I'm talking about, just keep scrolling down! Please keep sharing the posts, awareness week may now be over, but for me the struggle continues.

Thank you!

M.E Awareness Week @ hayleyeszti

M.E Awareness Week @ hayleyeszti
M.E Awareness Week @ hayleyeszti

M.E awareness week @

M.E Awareness Week @

M.E Awareness week @ hayleyeszti

M.E Awareness Week @ hayleyeszti

M.E Awareness Week @ hayleyeszti
M.E Awareness Week @ hayleyeszti

M.E Awareness Week @ hayleyeszti

Hair: Jake Gallagher
Photo editing C/O Charlie Denis
Makeup: Tracy Jayne MUA

I am so pleased to finally be able to share with you my visual campaign as part of M.E awareness week. M.E in an illness that leaves a lot of people needing wheelchairs, but they aren't permanently disabled which can leave a lot of sufferers being accused of faking their disability. Not all disabled people are permanent wheelchair users, and not all disabled people necessarily even use wheelchairs. The sooner that misconception is demolished the better.

M.E is also an invisible illness. Only if you are willing to look close enough you can see the signs, but generally speaking it can't be seen, unless you are using mobility aids which would then suggest that something is wrong. Do I look sick in these photos? No, because I have a face full of makeup and my hair done. Sufferers can (as long as they are well enough to get out of bed) hide those black eyes, put foundation on their pale grey skin, put clothes on, and smile as if nothing is wrong. 

What you wouldn't know from looking at these photos is that they left me severely ill and in bed for days on end after, a symptom known as 'post external malaise' where our bodies suffer following activity and over-exertion. Yes we might be able to (once in a blue moon) go out for a while, but what you don't see is the weeks prior to a trip out are normally spent at home resting and preparing just for a few hours of normality, and weeks are spent in pain recovering from that one afternoon too. I think that is why a lot of people underestimate the severity of the illness - because the real extent of it is almost never seen. 

I wanted to do this photo shoot to highlight all of these points visually. Please share this post on your social networks and help me get the point across this awareness week.

M.E is alive inside of me, but the real me inside is just about surviving, she is definitely not living.

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The visual campaign: M.E awareness week

Today is international M.E awareness day! If you've been reading my blog for a while then hopefully you know a little bit about the illness now, but if you're still unsure about what it is, this post is going to help refresh your memory. But first, I just have to share with you this amazing photograph of The Niagara Falls being lit up blue and purple (the official awareness colours for ME and fibromyalgia) Every year the beautiful Canadian nation light up the falls on May the 12th, which is amazing!

Niagara Falls Blue International M.E Awareness Day
My M.E story began sometime in my teens. I still don't know exactly when it hit me, because looking back I had a slow insidious onset and I have no idea when I first started getting ill, or what even caused it. I was fit and healthy - at least before, so I had no reason to worry about ill health and mostly passed off feeling tired and generally not quite right as a result of all the exercising I was doing! (I was at dance college and also a trained aerobics instructor) I didn't know then that things were soon to become very serious indeed.

When my M.E really hit me, it hit me hard. It was Christmas time so I remember it well. Christmas day I was perfectly fine, and by New Years Eve a week later, I was paralysed and couldn't move. I was hospitalised with a suspected brain injury, that's how serious ME can be, so bad they could even question something so sinister. Since that time three years ago, I have been hospitalised, suffered from amnesia, spent most days in bed, and I've even stopped breathing a few times too. Scary right? You can't make up those sort of symptoms, so why people still believe ME is not a real illness is beyond me.

Bow down to Stephen Fry!

So what exactly is ME anyway?
M.E stands for myalgic encephalomyslitis but it may also be known as Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction (CFIDS) confusing right?! It is a life changing and life long neurological disease that attacks every system in the body, including the brain, nervous system and immune system. It is an extremely debilitating illness even in it's mildest form. Severe cases leave people bed bound, house bound, confined to a wheelchair and in need of everyday care. In some cases is can even kill. We aren't even touching the surface though. The affects are endless and we must not forget the emotional impact having the illness has on a persons life. To be stuck in bed, unable to work, socialise, or do very much at all is devastating. There is currently NO CURE.

So what causes M.E and who can get it?
Absolutely anyone can get M.E. Babies, children, teenagers and adults. There is no proof as to the cause, but many people get the illness following a virus. Other triggers may include an operation or an accident, although some people experience a slow, insidious onset. It is more common in females.

How common is M.E?
Official statistics are unknown but it it is estimated that it affects
250,000 people in the UK
800,000 people in Canada
150,000 people in Australia
Over one million people in the USA


Why raising awareness is so important
M.E is still massively misunderstood and undermined, by Doctors and the general public. If you catch it early enough, you can control your symptoms and save your life both literally and metaphorically. The longer it is left undiagnosed, the bigger the chance that you will be left severely ill and disabled.

It is also hugely important that people start to understand that ME is not a joke. Millions of people worldwide suffer with the illness and the majority of them are being left to suffer in silence. In some countries, people with the illness are put into mental institutions and disowned by family and friends. Sufferers are battling so hard to get through each day, and they need support. They don't need to be questioned and made a mockery of, joked about (I'm looking at you Ricky Gervais) or to hear comments such as 'you just need to have a positive mind' We want nothing more than to get better, simple as that, but in the meantime we want people to treat us with respect and understanding.

I hope I have helped you understand M.E a little more. If you have any questions leave them in a comment below or contact me directly through my twitter, instagram or gmail. Make sure you come back later in the week because I will be sharing my ME campaign, and I can't wait to share it with you all!

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

International M.E awareness day! My story

May is the month of international M.E awareness. If you've visited my blog before (and if you haven't Hello and welcome!) you will know that M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitisis an incurable illness that swept my life away from under my feet. It has left me rarely able to leave my bed, let alone the house. It has left me crippled, and forces me to fight some horrible symptoms every single day, and through M.E I have lost so much of me.

During this month, I will be featuring several posts on my blog, to try and help the general public understand what it is, and how devastating it can be. I'm not doing this for sympathy or for attention, I'm doing it because I think it is wrong that in 2014, a genuine neurological, debilitating auto immune disease is often still accused of being a fake illness, that is all in the head or that the people who suffer from it are lazy and just get a bit tired.

I want you guys to help me in every way you can this month. My readers are always so supportive and kind, and I know some of you will help myself and all of the sufferers worldwide out by helping spread awareness.

I'm looking for non medical/health bloggers who would like me to guest post on their blogs. I always try and keep it light hearted whilst sticking to the truth so don't worry, I won't scare any of your readers away with negativity or gore! (And you'd have a say in the type of post it would be too) Email me or comment below if you'll have me appear on your corner of the blogesphere!

I want you, this month, on any of my M.E awareness posts to ask me questions! Anything at all you want clearing up, or anything you are curious about. Ask by commenting on my blog posts - you can even comment anonymously so I won't even know it's you, or you can ask me directly on my twitter or gmail, and don't worry if you think your question/s seem silly, that's the whole reason I am doing this, because people are bound to be curious and have questions. I might even do a Q&A post if I get asked a lot of questions.

I want you to retweet, and share on facebook or other social media my posts. Let's get people thinking and talking, and getting the word out there. M.E has changed my life in every way possible, and the general perception is that it is not serious is not only insulting to every single person who lives with it, but it makes it so difficult to get past the stigma and to be taken seriously. 

So please, if you like reading my blog, or if you think I seem like a nice person, or even if you consider me a blogger friend, get in touch this month and help me try and help future sufferers by spreading awareness and showing the people living with it right now that you care, because you never know, you could get M.E one day too.

Thanks in advance to everyone that is willing to listen this month. There are some people who are suffering in silence, so I'm doing it for them.

Tweet me: @hayleyszucs
Email me:
Instagram me: @hayley_eszti

x Hayley-Eszti

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