In the Shadow Lands

This blog gathers my experiences of over 30 years living with invisible illnesses, including ME/CFS, Sjogren’s syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression, and anxiety. Started in 2012, my blog was one of the few places I could be real with the challenges of my life. As my energy dwindled, I fell silent. My struggles were invisible. For many years, I censored myself and felt unable to write here. The loss of voice haunted me.

I’m now working to change the story! Over time, I will revise existing content and add content that I kept hidden in my computer and notebook for the past few years. I hope you’ll find stories that resonate, moments of inspiration, and ideas for your own healing toolkit.



Breaking the Waves #1 © 2013 Jane Waterman
Living with invisible illness

A Day in the Life – February 2016

Do you ever have those things you long to get back to, but no matter how much you try to marshal your energy, it doesn’t happen? Writing in my blog is one of those things. I actually have written in my blog – since my last entry on Christmas Day,

Presence @ 2014 Jane Waterman
Invisible illnesses

Being Okay with What Is

Letting life be what it is at any given moment is not something that comes naturally to us. I was reminded of this as a student from my new chair yoga class (wow!) observed that I looked tired. I confirmed that I was, and she asked what I would be

Star Birth #2 @ 2014 Jane Waterman
Living with invisible illness

It’s Okay to Talk About It

In recent memory, as the saying goes, my experience has been higher than usual levels of chronic fatigue associated with my Sjogren’s. In the early years of my illness, I believed I successfully pushed through these times, and just disregarded the 3-hour naps aka crashes that would happen after a

After Munch #2 © 2012 Jane Waterman
Mental health challenges

Talking Isn’t Enough

I took part in a Twitter chat last night that debated the seemingly obvious impact of physical health issues on mental health issues, and vice versa. I say obvious, because it was obvious to everyone there. Unfortunately, the audience consisted of mental health professionals and mental health services consumers. As we confirmed

Namaste © 2012 Jane Waterman
Healing toolkit

Beginning with Chronic Illness

I feel like I’ve waited my whole life to begin. In my young life, there were smaller obstacles: a lack of confidence and encouraging remarks, as well as the feeling of being different and sensitive in a noisy, overwhelming world. In my twenties, there came other challenges like physical and mental illness.

WAAD 14 Blogger Meet and Greet
Invisible illness advocacy

Meet Me at World Autoimmune Arthritis Day 14

I can’t begin to catch you up on where I’ve been lately. Mostly, it’s the continuing saga of a long string of challenges. I can no longer categorize these challenges as either “good” or “bad”. I’m either in a really Zen place or I’m totally shut down, or I’m a bit

A Little Rain Must Fall © 2012 Jane Waterman
Living with invisible illness

A Day in the Life with Sjogren’s

This post is part of the World Autoimmune Arthritis Day 2014 Blog Carnival. The theme of this year’s WAAD virtual conference is “A Day in the Life of an Autoimmune Arthritis Patient”. A link to the WAAD site follows this post. Blessings, Jane. A Day in the Life with Sjogren’s

Struggling © 2014 Jane Waterman
Mental health challenges

Love Your Depression

If any other person said “love your depression” to me, I probably wouldn’t talk to them much longer. However, when my counsellor says “love your depression”, I know it’s not some positive thinking message she’s trying to whitewash this crippling pain with. She’s inviting me to think about things in