Being Framed

Sometimes there is a song needing to be sung, a word waiting to be heard, or a poem pressing to be penned.

Today is one of those days.

My offering is a poetic lament in support of M.E. Awareness Week (May 6th – 12th) and the way people with this condition are often perceived.  You can click on the link to find out more about it.


I’ve been framed, boxed,
sifted, found wanting in
society’s eyes.
I’m not the woman they think
they see,
but an inner person that’s
really me.
Viewing the image the mirror
if I dare to risk, turning away
with sighs;
decades of illness have left
their mark
and it’s hard to bear living in
shaded dark.
My eyes need rest I urgently
the brain is foggy, body made
Pain and deformity cripple the
and it’s hard to remember
inside I’m the same.
A woman with dreams and a heart
to express
all that’s buried within,
though under duress.
I want to be seen as I feel
but external appearance can cause me to hide.
Days without number I face my
that grow as hard to scale as
our home stairs,
that this won’t go away and I
might not be healed
that the inner joy may be
forever concealed.
For it’s hard to stay cheerful,
harder still to be bright
in a world that pushes us out
of sight.
We’re the invisible people, out
of the game
our only identity is pain and
Huge in number, if weak of
the nameless ones who cannot
until labels and badges no
longer apply
and we don’t have to keep
asking you, β€œWhy?”
Why not believe us, why not
this could happen to you, being sick, life wrecked.
Your body a tomb for a spirit
that’s chained,
a livelihood lost, prison
sentence gained.
Eyes that accuse, hearts that
are hard
do nothing but continue marking
our card.
Treated with scorn, hostility,
our whole future residing on
whim of decision.
Fear haunts our days and
disturbs our nights,
energy drained further to keep
fighting our rights.
Please, won’t you listen and
heed the weak
as you hear our stories of the
justice we seek?
Please remember we are people
not numbers, statistics, a
warped world view.
Lives are at stake as bodies
strong in intent, though our
hearts quail.
Life in the Slow Lane can be no
life at all
when it grinds to a halt
against a brick wall.
If you know someone who has
please help them and tell them
you see;
you witness their pain, you
understand the need
and you won’t turn away, you
will pay heed.
All we ask is for people to see
who we are,
recognising this disease will
take us far
into a future where compassion
can reign
instead of resentment, sadness
and shame.

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged until he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.” ~ Isaiah 42:1 – 4

 Linking here with Nacole at sixinthesticks for concrete words, where we seek to express the abstract by means of a concrete word prompt. Todays is:The Frame. You are very welcome to join in.

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27 thoughts on “Being Framed”

    1. I sometimes wish I wasn't a semi-authority on the subject. But if it helps to raise awareness and support then it is beneficial to express these things. Thank you, Anne, for your lovely comment. πŸ™‚ xx

    1. Have I? Oh, I hope so, Mandy! Perhaps it's symbolic of the way God transforms our weaknesses by His strength. All I can say is the words kept flowing and they are cathartic for me and (hopefully) for others such as yourself who live with the devastating effects of this illness on a daily basis. Blessings, my friend πŸ™‚ xx

  1. Joy, I echo Mandy's words here! This is so heartfelt and so perfectly captures the frustration of chronic pain and fatigue.. the lack of belief, help, support and hope that goes along with it. Thank you for writing this, you speak for SO many

    1. Thank you so much, Ruth, for stopping by and leaving such a lovely supportive comment! It is my hope and intention to speak out for others. Bless you πŸ™‚ xx

    1. Thank you, Eileen, for your sweet comment. A light shed helps to clear up darkness and confusion. God specialises in bringing beauty from ashes. πŸ™‚ xx

  2. How is it possible that someone in so much pain can express themselves with such dignity and beauty? Because she (you Joy) is created in the image of God with beauty emanating from within. Humbled. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

    1. Oh, Helen, this one poured out of me and I was awake half the night as verse by verse gradually came! Had to write it down as it felt too important to risk losing in the morning. So, yes, I think you may be right here. Perceptive as always, my friend. Thank you πŸ™‚ xx

    1. Oh, how I know that feeling so well! It trips me up creatively at every turn. Then God intervenes and gifts me with words to share. I'm so pleased this resonated with you and (hopefully) speaks for many. We may be weak but our concerns are strong. Bless you πŸ™‚ xx

  3. You express how I have felt for over twenty years. I had moments of reprieve, but I kept getting worse. And to think at first I was merely told I was depressed. Thank you, Joy, for expressing what is so hard to make other people understand.
    Love, Debby xxx

    1. I know what you mean, Debby. So many have struggled to get diagnosed correctly, believed, helped and properly supported. It's very sad and all too common. Depression is likely to co-exist with M.E as the symptoms themselves are so limiting and hard to live with. But that in no way means it's 'all in the mind'. I'm so glad we have connected. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Love, Joy xx πŸ™‚

  4. Hello Joy, my, what a lovely poem. So straight from your heart, a cry that a lot of us dealing with chronic illness understand. I do get it, Joy, more than you probably know. Thank you for speaking out. (((hugs))).

    1. Hi Nacole. Thanks very much for stopping by and leaving a lovely comment! I'm so pleased it resonated with you and sad to think you are suffering similarly. Praying for you. ((hugs)) Blessings πŸ™‚ xx

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