March is autoimmune awareness month! This is so, so important for all of us in this community. This is our opportunity to spread awareness about our diseases, express ourselves, and most importantly inform others. But, many of us shy away from this chance to let others know about how we feel, what we deal with, and the impact it has on us. I was once guilty of not sharing anything about what I was going through and helping spread the word about my IBD. However, I’ve learned how keeping people informed can give them a little insight about what I am going through, and most importantly it may help others!
So why is sharing your story important? Even though you may be embarrassed or think that it’s not that great, or you haven’t had it bad, you can be a light in someone else’s journey. It may also be the reason that someone will begin to understand you and why you do things. It all came together for me years after diagnosis. I had not really been sharing, even with those closest to me (including my husband), what I had been going through. Sadly, it wasn’t until a family member of mine was diagnosed with IBD that I realized no one really understood the struggles and battles I had faced because I didn’t want to be a burden to anyone by sharing it.
Here are 5 reasons why sharing about your struggles or your triumphs can be so beneficial to the autoimmune community.
- Someone may be going through the same exact thing you are. Just look at the statistics of women suffering from autoimmune disease. Odds are there is someone that can relate to you. There may even be people who are misunderstood or not sure why they are experiencing something and feel alone. Sharing your story allows you to be that light for someone!
- You can connect with people who have had similar experiences. This is what Autoimmune Sisters is all about. Connecting with ladies who know exactly what you are going through and can be there for you!
- Others can begin to understand the battles we fight everyday just to feel normal. People in our lives who do not suffer from autoimmunity might not get why we are so fatigued, or have to keep up with a strict diet. Sharing will give them some insight into your life which can help bring empathy into our relationships.
- It allows you to have support from other people in your life. Once you share your story and people begin to understand your struggles and triumphs they will be able to support you so much better! Who doesn’t want that extra boost from their friends and family members?!
- Brings overall awareness to your disease community! This is the most important reason to share your story. It allows people to get to know the diseases we suffer from but most importantly how we survive and thrive even with these diagnoses.
I hope this encourages you to share your story. It is special and unique to you. It should be out in the world for people to embrace you with love and support. I believe in sharing your story so much that I started my personal blog. I felt the need to get all my struggles and successes out there in the world so that I could help others who suffer from IBD. Even if I only help one person in the whole world, I know I have spread some awareness on living with autoimmunity and to me, that is just so important! I’ll share a little bit of my story with you, mostly because it is long, but I encourage you all to do the same. I would love to hear it!
See my story here!