May. It’s a month where there’s a fair amount of health awareness days, or conditions have the 31-day period dedicated to them, referring to both physical and mental health.
Now, unfortunately I have over 15 diagnosed conditions with more undiagnosed but known, and others both speculated and under investigation. This means I have a fine (and by that, I mean god awful) list of medical credits to present to you. I’m not going to ramble on, but what I do want to do is raise awareness, and for those who share the awareness month of may, I damn sure am going to speak out about them (and you better be ready to hear more from the others in the future).
First of all, I wanted to share a little something with you guys; it’s a guest post that I did for Jess over on her blog A Lesbian and her laptop. The post was all about identification, how I both identify with ‘queer’ and ‘disabled’, and why identification is important. You can give it a read here.
So, what days of awareness have we got coming up?
May 1st- Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome awareness
May 12th- Fibromyalgia awareness
May 12th- Myalgic Encephalomyelitis awareness
May 19th- Inflammatory Bowel Disease awareness
May- Arthritis awareness
May – Borderline Personality Disorder awareness
In may, all of these awareness days aren’t just about a singular date, but the whole month. May is a great month to raise awareness, and even if it’s hard to keep up with every individual day I know chronically ill folk would appreciate ableds and spoonies alike to pay attention to info we’re sharing on our conditions. some are rare; stigmatised; not take seriously; not cared about.
The month is also filled up with other days of awareness in the health world, but personally I don’t feel it is correct to speak about said issues from my own eye, without experience – aside from of course advocating for rights! As I want to use this platform to combat ableism and raise awareness, I am looking for people to do some guest posts for general awareness, in the future; if you’d like to, send me a message on any of my social media pages for a feature, and look out for public calls that are specific. Ironically, the reason I’ve not been able to set up these collaborations is because of chronic illnesses!
Beyond the month of May
There are several other conditions I have myself with their own awareness days outside of May; June and September are prominent months, too. You’ll have those posts to look forward to in the future, but this mother post about awareness seemed important, as May does a good job in covering six things tht impact me on a daily basis.
What posts are coming up this month?
The month will be kicked off, after this, with a q&a on living with chronic illnesses, and I’ll be sharing individual posts on each of the conditions throughout the month. I also have some posts about media representation and academia potentially being shared – I’ve had them prepared / half written for a while but not been able to polish them sooner.
This is awareness.
Awareness is important, but your ableist attitudes are not. Many people can falsely perceive chronically ill folk as searching for ‘attention’, but the thing is, we’re not.
We’re fighting a battle with our bodies; we’re fighting a battle with society; we’re fighting a battle to get through our lives, and whether it’s a little pain or something that warrants a trip to the hospital, we battle every day.
Maybe, you can’t see our illnesses; sometimes, you can see them – but regardless, they’re always there.
I’m not ‘too young’ to be disabled, or ‘too pretty’ to use a wheelchair – I’m a young and beautiful, disabled sapphic non-binary woman, and I suffer, but I fight. I am visible, and I call for you to see me always.
I hope this post engages you into learning about my chronic illnesses and looking into the fights of other spoonies! Help us fight for our rights, our protection, our visibility.