Sunday, August 21, 2016

Not a Competition

For the past couple of weeks, people around the world have been watching the 2016 Summer Olympics.  Even if we don’t watch the actual games, we’re bombarded with news articles and social media posts praising all the record breakers and medal winners.  We admire the athletes’ competitive spirit, and root for our favorites (or our country) to win, win, win.

That drive to be the best, the fastest, the most, the everythingest carries over into other aspects of life, and that’s not always a good thing.  It’s not just about being the best we can be, it’s about being better than someone else (or everyone else) – surpassing the Joneses, so to speak.  While some simply take this inspiration and strive to do better, far too many minimize other people’s accomplishments in order to make themselves feel superior.  When taken too far, this can give the impression that whatever we do in life, if we’re not The Best, it’s not good enough.  That we’re not good enough.  And it completely negates the value of our effort, dedication, and accomplishment.

Oddly enough, there seems to be a similar competitiveness when it comes to bad things, as well.  Far too often when we are dealing with a difficult or challenging situation, instead of simply offering sympathy, people feel the need to state that their own crises are worse (whether that’s actually true or not). 
Oh, you sprained your ankle?  I broke my toe last year – now that was painful.
Oh, you lost your job?  I didn’t get that promotion I was hoping for – it’s so unfair. 
Oh, you’re getting divorced?  I still haven’t met anyone on match.com.
By suggesting that their suffering is worse than our suffering, what they are really doing is shutting down the conversation, preventing us from complaining, venting, or just talking about our problem.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Who Am I Now?

... aren't I?
Soul-crushing.  That’s really the only word I can use to describe this morning.  I had my disability (appeal) hearing today, and it just goes against everything that I am … except that it is what I am now.

I’ve been having a really hard time accepting my disability lately.  Maybe I’m just living in denial, but I like it there - focusing on the positives, the things I can still do, the way that advocacy can be empowering.  These are all good things, and that’s generally where I (almost) always choose to focus my thoughts and my energy.  But it’s been getting harder and harder to do lately.

That’s because Disability has been fighting me, and it feels like it’s winning.  Over the past 6-8 months …

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Are You Aware?

You may be wondering how it is that during Sarcoidosis Awareness Month I posted something (sometimes more than one something) every day about my illness … and yet now that we’re more than halfway through Arthritis Awareness Month (and Fibromyalgia Awareness Month) – the conditions I’ve been living with long before I’d ever even heard of Sarcoidosis, let alone been diagnosed with it – the only thing I’ve written here was a reflection on last month.  Well that’s because I’ve been so busy DOING (and thinking, and planning), that I haven’t had time (or energy) to write about it!

So let’s start with the month overall – Arthritis Awareness Month.  Why do we need it?  After all, it’s not like Sarcoidosis – everyone’s heard of arthritis, right?  Everyone’s aware, right?

Well, yes and no. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Power of Purple

I recently discovered that April 2016 was Sarcoidosis Awareness Month.  Since that is my latest diagnosis, and since no one I know had even heard of the disease before I was diagnosed, I knew that Sarcoidosis Awareness was definitely lacking, and an important place for me to direct my energy.  I discovered a few activities that were right up my alley, including a Sarcoidosis Awareness Walk and a PURPLE challenge!

Purple has always been one of my favorite colors, so I figured it would be fun to add some purple flair for the month.  Rather than just one day of purple, I vowed to show off my purple every day during the month of April.  I took pictures, posted on social media, and tagged and hashtagged away.  It was definitely fun to come up with creative ways to have a different purple item showcased each day.
View my Sarcoidosis Awareness Month album here