We all love to be happy-go-lucky, we want to be the life and soul of the party but we forget that we are poorly. We are unwell and so our bodies do need soothing, time to rest and relax but we are constantly fighting a battle of survival.
That said, we don't want to be a 'Debbie Downer', waiting for the sun to shine and a miracle to happen. We want to be the sun, we want to be the magic and we WANT to be the positive influence.
We have a choice, we do. We can allow the negatives and our fears to beat us, pull us down and destroy us OR we can stand tall ( even if we are clinging on for dear life ), speak up even when we want to cry and show our war wounds to prove that perfection is a myth and that illness is NOT a weakness.
Many of you will know that I have been shortlisted for The Positive Role Model for Diversity, which is an honour that leaves me beyond SPEECHLESS. I am so ecstatic and exciting to attend the awards and be in a room full of so many inspiring people. Word just fail me, IT IS OUT OF THIS WORLD, AMAZING. I am so grateful.
Some of you may look at me and say I don't physically on the surface look disabled. I am lucky! Yet, what is important to highlight is that not all disabilities are VISIBLE. I can't walk far, I may walk unaided for a short period of time but then I am seeking out an arm to cling too or a chair to sit down. I fight my body, believing I can push it more than it wants me too.
People don't see the days where it takes me FOREVER just to get up out of bed because I feel paralysed and can't feel my body. I get up and go dizzy, losing my vision and hearing. Yet I stand in front of you, looking confident and full of life but its taken days of rests, hours of preparation and A LOT of soul-searching to find the strength and courage to face the day and the public eye.
People don't see how it takes me at least two hours to come around in the morning, to feel well enough to get dressed and finally walk out of the door. I may walk around Sainsbury's for a short time, but that is the highlight of my day - I won't be out walking again. I have to sit down because I can't pack the bags - my mind not quick enough and my arms lack the strength to lift the bags. But people see me - fully able, on the outside, healthy.
I WANT people to see me well, I do and that is why I TRY so hard to be FUNCTIONING when I am out and about because I guess it's a personal fight to not allow my illness to keep taking from me.
What is also hidden from the naked eye is the damage this disease does to your organs, cells and tissues. My major organs that are keeping me alive are being attacked brutally EVERY DAY.. below the surface my health is far from good. I may on the outside look normal but on in the inside there is a fierce war going on that one day will get the better of me but everyday I fight and try to do as much as I can in a number of ways; physically 'living', campaigning, writing, blogging, dealing with symptoms , enjoying life because I don't know when my time will be up.
My health has declined rapidly over a short-frame of time, in the grand scheme of things and so I take everyday as a blessing and try to do as much as I can as a 24 year old. Some may say that my symptoms can't be as severe as I make them out to be but that is just because I have the positive mindset to highlight invisible, chronic illness as well as Lyme Disease but show proof that we DESERVE and can still LIVE . We can make difference, that maybe fate handed these cards to us for a reason.
I hope to be an example of a success story. Remembered for still being the light in people's lives despite the darkness that battles on within me and that within any negatives, if we dig deep enough we can seek the positives that deserve to be celebrated and enjoyed. To inspire people who feel like they no longer have their voice FIND ONE AGAIN. Rise up from the ashes. Realise that inner beauty is worth gold compared to our outer shells. That judgements are fashionable and understanding, listening and caring are the latest trends. It doesn't matter if we are 'different', we should celebrate being unique and making our own rules, where so many are so fearful of stepping out their comfort zone.
We all deal with our own struggles in our own ways and that is why this awards event is SO important, because everyone in that room will highlight an unique and special way of dealing with serious obstacles that life presents them with and their hard work, killer mindset and fighter souls will empower, inspire and enrich people's lives in so many ways. Which will make a massive difference to the society that surround us.
What a night this will be, golly I will be so inspired and will probably have so many parts of me I want to work on by the end, after seeing all the wonderful projects people are working on.
For me, just being shortlisted for this award makes me feel on top of the world. I am so thankful and grateful to all my readers and followers. YES I do have days where I cry a lot and want to throw in the towel. Luckily my determination and goal to never alone anything to beat me - kicks me up the bum and keeps me fighting, which in turn I hope inspires you all.
I hope to continue to grow my platform, campaign harder than ever and touch people in a way that they are inspired and find strength they never believed they had. To protect and save more people from this disease by putting in the groundwork and educating as many people as possible, not just in this country but world wide.
Ultimately to give people a voice, so that they don't believe invisible illness means they are INIVSIBLE, inspire people to find a purpose and get up in the morning despite the pain and make great break-through's worldwide when it comes to Lyme Disease.
I think it is important to raise that I WAS NEVER confident, always the invisible girl in the corner to shy to even speak her name and now through the pain, struggles, suffering and inspiring people I have come into contact with and studied I have found my voice, faced my fears, pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Even if my body is weak my inner soul is stronger than ever.
So I am proof -- WE CAN FIND THE STRENGTH TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND BETTER OURSELVES through the tough tests life presents us.
Remember, even on the darkest of days - smile. A smile could light up someone's day, even if it's not your own. It is like a touch of magic.