Once again, it is time to shine awareness on living with Invisible Illness. Invisible Illness Awareness Week is September 9 – 15 this year. So many people live with conditions that are invisible to the average bystander and suffer for it. They don’t suffer from just the medical condition itself, which probably brings more than enough difficulty and challenges, but they suffer from the ignorance of the people who have no idea that their reactions and comments have a serious impact on the ill person.
EDS is just one of many invisible illnesses and, as many EDSers will agree, it is far too easy to be classified as an attention seeker, a hypochondriac, or a loon; as lazy, crazy and a drug seeker just because the symptoms cannot be seen. To have such a vital and basic part of yourself labeled as nuts is as painful as any physical part of the condition.
It is easy to feel like a victim when chronic illness hits and changes your life. In many ways, you are. You didn’t ask for it, weren’t prepared and are at its mercy every day. However, if you label yourself as a victim, you are bound to suffer more than is necessary. You are not your illness, it is part of you but does not have to define you. The theme for Invisible Illness Awareness Week this year is ‘I Choose to…’
What a great thing for those living with an invisible illness to think about. What do you choose to do/be/think? You can take a picture of yourself doing the thing you choose or simply holding a sign spelling out what your choice is and upload it here as part of the awareness effort. You can go here to learn more about the 2013 campaign.
This is the perfect time to help raise awareness about Invisible Illness. Share info across social media: on Facebook, on your blog, on twitter, on Pinterest. Here is the ’30 things you may not know about my invisible illness’ meme that you could use on facebook or a blog. Just copy and paste, type in your answers and post it. Here is the Rest Ministries Pinterest Page, look around and see if there is anything your can share on your Facebook page. Here are 25 facts to tweet, if you are on Twitter.
Wherever you can, shine a bit of light on this very real issue. There is much you can do, whether you live with an invisible illness or love someone who does.