If We Don’t Speak Up, Nothing Will Change
I’d like to start this off by saying how honored I am that Alanna asked me to do a guest blog here. I suffer from a condition called Ehlers-Danlos, which is an invisible illness. And my way of speaking up for all of us, and helping all of us, is by writing. So, today, I’ll talk about how people see and treat those who have illnesses.
Firstly, I think it’s important to advocate for what you believe in, and to speak up and speak loud for those who cannot or are afraid to do so. If we don’t speak up, nothing will change, nothing will get better, because no one will listen. Take for example the gay rights movement; they spoke up and fought for years in order to get the same rights straight people do. They’ve dealt with bigots and haters. They’ve been abused, physically and mentally by those who don’t understand them, yet they never gave up, they kept on fighting for their right to be treated equal as others. And it’s the same with people who have illnesses, visible and invisible. We’ve also had to deal with haters and abuse, because we’re different or people don’t understand us. And if your illness is invisible, you have also had to deal with being called a liar or crazy. And those haters and abusers make it so people are afraid to speak up. They hide and tremble in fear of what’s to come next, and oftentimes, they’re alone.
One of the reasons I love social media networking; so much, is because it doesn’t just give us the opportunity to connect with others like us, but it also gives us the opportunity to let our voices be heard and raise awareness for our illnesses. I often try and use social media to raise awareness for invisible diseases, simply because oftentimes, we’re treated even worse than those with visible diseases, because people just don’t believe we actually have it.
We can also use social media to fight against those who seek to condemn us for something we have no control over, or those who make light of our situation. And sometimes, we win.
Recently, a photo was pictured online of a ‘sleeping beauty’, a girl with KLS. Someone took that photo, and posted ‘I’m jealous of her life’ on it. The idiocy of humanity never ceases to amaze me. People are jealous of a girl who sleeps for days or weeks on end, missing out on so much of her life? People actually think it’s acceptable to say those things? I don’t have KLS, but I do have periods where I do nothing but sleep, either because of my illness, or because I’m experiencing migraine attacks. It’s not fun. It’s not peaceful. It’s sad! And then when you wake up, you still might feel so tired that you want to go right back to sleep. Missing out on so many moments in life is nothing to be jealous about! People should feel lucky that they are healthy and can experience life to the fullest.
But, that’s the thing, isn’t it? People never feel lucky like that. People like to complain about anything and everything. Nothing is ever good enough. I’ve experienced moments when I was in my wheelchair, and people made comments such as ‘she’s lucky she doesn’t have to walk all the time’. People are annoyed that they have to walk a bit to get somewhere? Well, I’d rather be able to walk there, than have to use my wheelchair. I can’t go out or an entire day and walk on the beach or cruise the shopping malls. It’s physically impossible for me to do that. Yet, people would still say I’m the lucky one. I’m in pain all day, everyday, so much so that sometimes I can’t walk, not even with my crutches, but I’m the lucky one because I get to sit back and ‘relax’ while they have to walk.
Comments like those just show how little people understand of us. And how little they’re willing to understand. And the only way to make them understand, is to bombard them with posts on their social media, showing them how life really is for people like us. And sometimes, you just might be able to reach one person, and make them understand. And that’s why I do it. That’s why I fight for people like us, and why I write blogs, poems and stories about our living conditions. I hope that my messages will reach someone. Because, if you can make one person understand, you can make more understand as well.
I hope you found this interesting. And again, thanks to Alanna for letting me do this guest blog.
To learn more about Lieselot and to read her incredible writings, connect with her here: Lieselot’s Website. Lieselot’s Facebook. Be sure to share this article with your family and friends! By sharing this article, you will contribute to help this powerful message get seen by more people!