Chances are high that if you have a friend or family member who lives with a chronic illness, or was recently diagnosed, that you don’t really know what you can do to help. This is not meant to be a dig towards you by any means. But most able-bodied people struggle because they don’t really know what to say or do. They feel this way because they can’t really relate to what we are feeling. They can’t relate to the chronic pain, or life altering fatigue. In fact, they often wonder if there is actually anything that they could say or do that would make any difference. They fear hurting their friend or family member so they pull away. This is not deliberate, but it is a reflex. So this is an effort to share some tips and ideas to help prevent that and help friends, family, and those with the chronic illness.
Welcome to Focus On The Fight, a series of interviews that will be posted weekly, focusing on a blogger/advocate, their health and their advocacy work.
This week we meet Christalle, and we will highlight: EPILEPSY
Before we dive into the heavy stuff, please tell us all a little about yourself outside of your health! About your family or your hobbies !!
Christalle Bodiford is an artist, writer, and adventure seeker. As an entrepreneur diagnosed with epilepsy, Christalle brings a unique perspective of empowerment that inspires others to embrace a positive mindset and live with purpose. When she’s not writing or advocating, Christalle enjoys puppy snuggles with her scruffy terrier and outdoor adventures with her husband.
Pain is just that, PAIN. It’s hurtful. Millions of people deal with some kind of pain every single day. Whether it be the acute pain of an injury, or the emotional pain of losing someone you loved so dearly. Pain is everywhere and every single person is going to deal with their pain differently.
Social Media…..We always hear about the negatives viewpoints and aspects of each platform. Like the fact that social media is full of highlight reels rather than what’s actually real. We only get to see what those influencer types choose to show us, which is usually only the highlights. Or the fact that the internet is full of what we will call “keyboard warriors,” who spew all kinds of nasty hatred into the comment section of any social media platform. They say things that they would NEVER say to someone’s face all because they can hide behind their screens or keyboards without any real consequences. While those are well known facts about social media, what isn’t well known, or often spoken about, is the fact that social media is a HUGE blessing to those in the chronic illness community. I’ll wait while you pick your jaw up off the floor. Did I really just say that social media is a blessing????
It’s okay……it’s okay to struggle, it’s okay to be real, it’s okay that you don’t always have your shit together. Life’s messy, especially when you live with some kind of chronic illness. Life isn’t all roses and champagne. Instead it’s full of messy houses, and dirty dishes. It’s full of down days where you can’t get out of bed, and high pain days. Life is real and that’s OKAY. When we live in a world of highlight reels and instagram perfect pictures it’s easy to forget that we live messy lives.
We all have heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This is absolutely true. I have learned that as someone with a chronic illness, to look deeper than the surface that is presented. The smile that is flashed for Instagram or Facebook. If you look behind the smile and examine the eyes, wonder what is deeper and look you see a deeper story and not the facade presented to the world.