Archive for August 21st, 2008
I’ve taken on many identities in my life, various activities or occupations that I affiliated myself with. In middle school, I was a dancer and swimmer. In high school, I was a musician and sailor. In college, I was an aspiring architect and photographer. Now, in my post-college life, I’m just… sick.
It’s natural to affiliate myself with groups I participate in. Shared interests and all that. As a kid, this affiliation made it easy to meet people with whom I had something in common. It gave us something to talk about, a shared point between our different lives. Even now, like most adults, I seek people who share my same interests: those who knit, or read, or sail, or speak French. As a kid, a big part of my identity was what I spent my time doing. You are what you do.
Now that my chronic illness (chronic Migraines) defines my life and overshadows everything I do, it’s hard not to define myself by my illness. I am a Migraineur. I Migraine. This self-definition drives me to seek others who also suffer from Migraines (whether chronic or episodic), and others suffering under the label of “invisible illness”. I’ve joined a thriving online community of Migraine and invisible illness sufferers, all who can empathize with my daily struggles.
I worry that by defining myself as a chronic illness sufferer – and no other definition – I lose the essence of who I am. Migraines, after all, have taken over my life, giving me not a moment of my day when my head doesn’t hurt, I feel nauseous and dizzy, and I can’t stand to look at any sort of light. When Migraines define everything I do, it’s hard to stop them from also defining my existence.
But I am not Migraines, and Migraines are not me.
So who am I?
I’m a young woman, a girlfriend, an aspiring architect. I’m a knitter, photographer, musician, sailor. I read, watch tv, do puzzles, pet my cat. I draw, I think, I write. And I happen to suffer from Migraines.
It’s a delicate balance between my Migraines and my identity. But I’ve found that some of my self-definitions – knitter, reader, writer – are what help me cope with the chronic pain, because they help me to connect with myself and with other, healthier people in the world outside my Migraines.
National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is an excellent way to raise awareness of invisible disease, and bring together those from all walks of life who suffer invisibly, if not silently.
MJ is a 25-year-old chronic Migraine and chronic daily headache sufferer. In her healthier life, she works in the architecture field, with the dreams of designing urban architecture around the world. In her Migraine life, she blogs (http://rhymeswithmigraine.blogspot.com) and participates in a number of online health communities, including MyMigraineConnection. Her goal is to promote awareness and understanding of Migraine, a genetic neurological disease. In her spare time, she knits, crochets, sews and reads. She also enjoys traveling and black and white photography, and hopes to continue both despite her illnesses.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 6 so far )
I was at a red light for over 2 minutes last night, and I looked at the license plate on the in front of me. It just had the car dealership’s name. This must be one of the BEST forms of free advertising taken advantage of out there, right? Because how many of us take the 2.2 minutes (I nearly timed myself last week) to put a new license plate frame on our car?
I was so excited to think about all the people stuck behind me yesterday who saw my new license plate frame!
One of the new lines in commercials these days is “What’s in your wallet?” We ask you… “What’s on your car?”
Here are some of our favorite items for our cars to increase awareness!
These license plates turned out GREAT! They are white with printed colors in black and then a thick glossy plastic – type coating. They should last a long time!
If you’re the bumper sticker kind of person, these are simple and too the point. And a nice touch for when someone wonders why you are parking in a disabled spot but “look just fine.”
Also a nice bumper sticker from one of our past years, but it doesn’t have a date so is still just dandy!
Would you rather have a static cling on the back of your car? This one is cute enough with a roller coaster logo to get your viewpoint (“help a friend hold on”) about living with invisible illness across.
Just in case you want a bit of inspiration as you’re driving down the road, check out these scripture cards you stick in your dashboard and they reflect up onto the window. We love them!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
- health and disability insurance
- Social Security disability
- employment discrimination
- school-based discrimination
- debt managment
We hope you will check out this VERY informative and helpful web site. And drop her a note to say thanks for her suport of Invisible Illness Week too!