As the 50th post is approaching in the series, I wanted to reflect on why I started the series and the impact it has had.
Firstly, I just want to say a big thank you to every single one of you who has raised awareness within the series, to you, my friends who have read and learned about a new illness or disability. To date, your stories have been viewed 3,300 times! This may be small to some, but this is HUGE! More and more people are being educated about living with a variety of disabilities, each day, and that was the ultimate reason for this series.
Why I started the series
I wanted to break down the reasons as to why I started this series. As I said above, the overall aim is to raise awareness of as many disabilities and illnesses as possible. From my own experience, I didn’t know anyone at the time, locally or online, who had any of the disabilities that I have. I suffered for a long time with loneliness and I wouldn’t want anyone to feel isolated like I did.
So, if I can make a small difference by creating this series, a platform for you to share your experiences, and meet others alike, then I will continue to do so. Below are a few more reasons why I started the series.
Each person is different
Each condition has its own set of symptoms, however that doesn’t mean that 2 people with the same condition will have the same symptoms – it can affect each person differently. Also, a condition, for example: Ataxia or Muscular Dystrophy, can be used as an umbrella term and actually have many types.
Disabled doesn’t have a specific “look”
There’s a common misconception that people “look” disabled – is this because someone is a wheelchair user? If there were 10 people in a room, and 4 of them are either a wheelchair user or uses another mobility aid, would you automatically assume that those 4 people were disabled? For all we know, all of the people in the room, are disabled. This ties in with that not all disabilities and illnesses are visible.
It’s an assumption that I would like to tackle and get rid of.
Loneliness is a horrible, horrible aspect in life that it’s likely each person will experience this at least once in their life. But when you’re going through the diagnosis process, or have just been newly diagnosed, it’s common that no support is given – regarding who you can talk to, or if there any support groups, etc.
This then results in us feeling isolated and sometimes, a burden to those around us. We want our voices to be heard, and yet our loved ones sometimes do not understand the full impact of how much a disability or illness can have on us. I want this series to enable your voices to be heard, where nobody will judge you; only support you.
Finally, I just want to thank you all again for your continued support, to you who reach out to me and hope to raise awareness. You’re all superheroes!
If you would like to feature in ‘The Reality of…’ series, then please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my contact page. Thank you!