Comment Of The Day: July 31, 2010
We want everyone to have a ‘voice’ on Dear Thyroid. Each of our stories might have commonalities, every single yarn is unique and vital. We learn so much from each other, about our diseases and what we’ve endured. By giving voice to thyroid disease and thyroid cancer, in our terms, we re-brand the face of this disease! Though it might appear that we don’t, we do. As a result of our collective efforts, we are raising extraordinary awareness for this disease. Families, friends and those who don’t even know what a thyroid is or does, are INSPIRED AND EDUCATED BY YOUR WORDS. Every community member, including the Dear Thyroid team of columnists and volunteers are paramount to this experience. Ensuring that you know just how powerful your words are is of the utmost importance.
I receive emails from non-thyroidians quite often about letters, columns, contests, everything we do on Dear Thyroid. These aren’t folks with morbid curiosity or anything of that nature. These are families eager to understand what their loved one is going through, friends and individuals who had no clue what a thyroid was or did. Moreover, they lacked awareness about how emotionally and physically this disease changes patients lives.
There is a point to this — Don’t stop writing! I challenge each of us to write and submit as many Dear Thyroid Letters in the month of August as possible. Whether you’ve written one or not, write and submit more. Encourage your friends and family to submit their Dear Thyroid Letters. It’s not about word count; it’s about the content – it’s about YOU.
Thyme For Literary Healing: Losing Faith In Ourselves, This is a topic near and dear to my heart because I think we lose faith in ourselves as a result of the side effects and symptoms of our disease. I want us to break it down and go there, bring the elephant out from under the rug and share our collective brutal truths. Our bodies and minds have betrayed us.
We asked a series of questions – if you haven’t participated, please do. Losing faith in ourselves is a sad and common byproduct of our diseases.
Comment of the Day…
1. Have you lost faith in yourself as a result of your disease?
I haven’t lost faith in myself, and I feel lucky in that. I know my abilities, and most aren’t hampered by this disease. So far.
2. Have you lost faith in your mind and body or mind, or body?
Definitely I have lost faith in my body. I thought that mind/body were a team. We worked together and I tried my best to take care of myself. Then this, Graves Disease. I could walk, talk, think, sleep, work, eat and drink. Now I have had to change every singe one of those things to adapt. Losing control makes me feel like I am losing a bit of who I am.
3. What have you done to restore faith in yourself?
Adjusting to this, these things. It is what I do, I work hard and learn, and adapt as required.
4. What has been the most challenging aspects of your disease?
The most challenging aspect will be for me to talk to people about it. I haven’t talked much about it, except for with people I trust. My immediate family [hubby, 2 kids], one of my sisters, and one co-worker. I just have a hard time trying to blurt out “I have Graves Disease”. Everyone has “stuff” they have to deal with, so why should I bother everyone with adding to this. I don’t need anything from them. If I tell my parents [both in mid 80’s] they will worry. I don’t need for them to worry. I am dealing with it. Arrrrgh. Ok this really is challenging me.
5. How are you working to find your way back to yourself?
I may never be the “me” I thought I was before this happened. But then, I am not the same person I was a year ago, or yesterday. We all change and reinvent, so I am really trying not to dwell on going back to myself. I am right here, right now. This is how I am, and will be until the next change. Being ok with that is making every day pretty damn good.
I am not Graves Disease, I just have it.
The Los Angeles Dear Thyroid Meet-up, By Melissa, this excerpt sums it up beautifully “I felt a sense of safety in sharing, knowing that we all could relate on some common level. I feel that as a Thy-disease riddled community member, we should not succumb to the isolation, lack of understanding or approval from others. For every non-understanding person that I have dealt with, superficially or otherwise, that they have dealt with some sort of traumatic medical experience. Some people are really good at keeping secrets, lol.”
Please read the rest; it’s an inspiring post about the importance of offline support and community.
Comment of the day…
Melissa, I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to get there (I have just moved and was too exhausted to drive to the west side). And like you I worry my social skills are inept as most weekends are (still) spent at home as I’m still fatigued. And I’m still unpacking. Exhausting.
–NEWS AND UPDATES–
Participate in a meet-up, contact Kerri. She will help coordinate a meet-up in your area and encourage other community members to join. Read about the latest Dear Thyroid meet ups. Join the Pittsburgh meet-up.
Tags: Comment of the Day, community building, Dear Thyroid, graves disease support, hashimoto's disease support, Health Community, health support community, hyperthyroid support, hypothyroid support, literary community, literary support, thyroid cancer support, thyroid community, thyroid literary community, thyroid support community