So now that Invisible Illness week is over I feel like I can sigh a sigh of relief. I have to be honest, I hate Invisible Illness week.
But Jackie, you have multiple invisible illnesses, shouldn’t you be a cheerleader for people like you during this week?
Yes. I should. I am always a cheerleader, but frankly during Invisible Illness Week, the world gets inundated with people who just whine and complain about whats its like to be us. It is blog post after blog post about why people don’t understand and how hard it is to be us.
Almost NO ONE takes this week to talk about invisible illnesses and educating other people. You rarely see the blog post talking about how a life that changed for the better because of their illness. I agree that this week is a good time to explain to the rest of the world what is it like to live with an illness, but part of our job as patients, is to market that information. This week should turn us all into marketing professionals. We should be marketing our disease to people. Marketing is about creating interest and its an opportunity to educate. If you just sit around and whine about how bad your life is, no one wants to buy your product. Instead you have to be honest, open, upfront, but without all the “woe is me” bullshit.
Frankly I don’t think there should be a week about invisible illnesses at all. I think we should all be out there every day advocating for ourselves and our illnesses. Posting a graphic about the week and how hard it is to be you, once a year, doesn’t raise awareness. It makes people hide you in their news feed.
And don’t even get me started on the “spoon theory”. If there was one piece of illness propaganda out there, it’s that. It has been the catalyst for all people with chronic illnesses to complain about their lives. So take your spoons and shove them up your ass. Stop whining.
Everyone is allowed a pity party. I have mine. I’ve had plenty of them right here on this blog. But every post I make is not about how hard is it to be me. It’s not about how people just don’t get me. It’s not me making excuses about how my illnesses hold me back. A pity party is what you get to do after you have a bad day or experience. It is not the state you should be living your life in. You have a chronic illness. Have a good cry. Ok…now move the fuck on and do something about it. Take your meds, see your doctors, advocate the hell out of it, and smile because you’re doing the best you can everyday.
Show people that these diseases cannot and will not break us. Its marketing. Its how you present your product. I would rather be the strong product with loads of facts and information that people pick up because it looks good, and get pulled in by reading the label. Those of you who just bitch about what your life is like can stay on the bottom rack of the dented can section. Let me know how that goes for you.