This past week I wrote a post on Facebook that I was finally able to go out of the house after 4 days of dealing with kidney stones. Quite a few people responded with love and wished me well. But one person messaged me and although wishing me well, said- “I’m so sorry your ALWAYS sick.”
I understand she meant no harm but it actually tore at me a bit. My battle and my brand has been built on being strong in the face of adversity. Showing my vulnerability but staying fabulous despite the many hurdles I jump over. This feeling of disappointment and frustration when this comment was made has stuck with me all week. I am frustrated because having an “invisible illness” which honestly I hate that term: Because my chronic “invisible” illness is very visible to me everyday. I just choose to put make-up on, plaster a smile on my face, and fight through pain, daily. The disappointment is a feeling that I am failing at educating others about all of us who suffer daily but choose to stay positive and look healthy.
This season for anyone is tough with the many flu’s, colds, and germs going around, but for someone who has a compromise immune system it can be a nightmare always worrying about getting sick. Getting sick for us can mean weeks to months of recuperation or even worse- not recuperating at all.
I am very proactive with my health, but kidney stones have been part of my life for some time now. They hurt, they suck, and I have no control when they decide to rear their ugly head. Just like anyone with an autoimmune disease, has no control over when a flare happens or a cancer fighter if or when the cancer decides to spread, or someone who has mental illness and their depression becomes overwhelming and debilitating. None of us chose to be sick or choose when these symptoms decide to reek havoc. Believe me it’s no day in the park to constantly be in fear of getting sick, or the cancer spreading, or when a kidney stone decides it’s going to invade my body and cripple me in pain.
So before you make a statement to someone about ALWAYS being sick, think about the person you are making that statement to. Having a chronic invisible illness is hard enough, being doubted, judged, or dismissed is heartbreaking. Believe me, we are aware that we have a lot of bad days… in fact it is really depressing sometimes. Somedays we have to grieve the people we should be. Without limitations and worry. Most days, though, we celebrate the good days and continue to give our body the tools it needs to thrive. Having compassion without judgement goes along way in this world. So please don’t judge our stories or the choices we make, because honestly you don’t have any idea the options we had to choose from.
To all of my Fabulous Fighters- remember your worth, remember how far you have come and the daily struggles you choose to power through with a smile on your face and a light in your heart. You are true warriors and continue to inspire so many.
“Compassion binds us to one another- Not in a pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future”- Nelson Mandela
Wrapping you in Love and Light,