This week has been a strange week. Since I got admitted, I have struggled to post on my advocacy channels not only due to the energy of coming up with what to post but because of comments and messages I have received from people with and without chronic illness.
When I got admitted, it was easy for people on the outside to look in to say I was flaring because "I probably ate gluten" or "I'm stressed about school." However, this is not the case. I really do stay away from my trigger foods. I do things, like yoga, to help manage stress and have a routine that includes school and homework to try to keep my stress levels down.
What people who do not have a chronic illness do not understand is that you can feel perfectly fine one day, and your illness may decide to remind you it is there the next day. I was feeling probably the best I had since diagnosis prior to getting admitted. I was working out 3 days a week, going to class, eating healthy, and consciously drinking more water. When I posted about getting admitted, a lot of people in my life said I was probably struggling because I am working out, however working out is making me feel better. I am careful to not go back to back. I am careful to listen to my body and not go on days that feel "off" or like I would be pushing my body too much.
It's also very easy to say "your body cannot do what it used to, you need to keep that in mind." That is easy for someone to say who does not understand what we go through. Every day there are reminders. It's not something we can forget. There are constant reminders of foods you used to be able to eat, thoughts of how much you used to be able to do without a nap, constant reminders of things you can no longer do.
When people with Chronic Illness choose to advocate and raise awareness, they open themselves up in a very vulnerable way. People choose to do this to raise more awareness so comments like "remember, you can't do what you used to," or "just do some yoga" are no longer peoples' responses when we are in a flare or in the hospital. We post to raise awareness and make a change.