A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking with Jessica from the Invisible Wave Movement. Their mission is to: “Raise awareness, foster community, and advocate for policy for young adults with chronic conditions all around the world!” Being able to do this gave me a lot of joy. My goal, being a theatre major, has always been to share the voices of those who are waiting to be heard. I didn’t anticipate being part of a community where my own voice was silenced. For a while, I was stifled by the realities of my condition. Getting the opportunity to speak about my journey with chronic illness was a great gift.
When I created this page, I had a lot of different ideas. I wanted to share my journey and medical updates with family and friends. I wanted to have a platform to share my experience and pitfalls others in my situation might fall into. Most importantly, I wanted to relay my journey for all the people like me who feel alone. Chronic illness is not something we hear about often in daily life. Unless we or someone we love are dealing with it, it flies under the radar.
Doing this interview made me a little nervous. Although I’ve been performing for my entire life, I’ve always performed as someone else, a character. Pre-written and detached from who I am. This was a new experience. I was going to speak as myself about my own experience. I had a lot I wanted to say and yet my thoughts felt jumbled and disjointed. Being able to write them all down, there is a lot of editing involved.
I’m saying this because it’s important to share this story. Not because I want attention but because I am one voice in a world of millions who haven’t had this type of opportunity. I would encourage you to speak up. Whether it be about chronic illness, anxiety, or any other experience. Chances are there are others who have experienced that too. One of the most difficult things in any journey is to feel like you are alone. No one is ever alone (cue Into the Woods soundtrack). Although no one has a carbon copy of your experience they will probably relate to it. If you need support and aren’t ready to share your story, I’d suggest seeking out those like you. There is always a community that will love and accept you, it’s just a matter of finding it.