Sunday, October 19, 2014

Do you REALLY see me?

I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is one phrase I hate receiving the most.

"You don't look disabled."

This week is Invisible Disabilities Week and the purpose is to raise education, awareness, as well as support. I know many people who live with invisible disabilities, including family members. It is a different way to live when people don't always realize there are struggles we deal with on a daily basis.

It's not just my medical issues, but other disabilities such as depression and anxiety that affect me. Some days are better, but after the rocky couple of months I've had there are some days where it takes a lot of energy just to function a little. There's also a compound issue of having people not understand invisible disabilities, but I can understand people sometimes are confused as to how to navigate through the invisible disability realm.

That's why my advice to EVERYONE is to treat others as if they are facing their own challenges. It takes just as much energy to respond with patience as it does to be sharp with someone. Positivity promotes positivity and there is no reason to be cruel to others. Everyone has their bad days, but the frequency of 'bad days' can increase when you have a myriad of other things biological going on in your own body. I also cannot underline how much of PTSD can have lingering affects on a person.

So this week, I'll issue you lovely readers a challenge.

If you are having an interaction with a person this week who is really pushing you to the limit, be it a driver in traffic or a coworker or a family member or a friend or a partner, take a breath before you react. Take a moment to understand they may be pushed to their limit and a misdirected negative comment could unintentionally break a person's spirit for the day (and possibly a few after). Take a second to understand the person may be in pain and not feel comfortable showing you their struggles.

As the great Bill and Ted once said, "Be excellent to each other!"

1 comment:

  1. This is great advice any time of year - Thanks for sharing.