I wore my yellow dress (yellow is the chosen colour for endo awareness) and pink heels (my favourite). I looked around at about 40 people; doctors, MLAs, pharmaceutical reps, professionals, charities, I realised I was the youngest by far. But I ploughed on and gave my wee story. I was told to just be honest, so I was. I told them about being ignored for 5 years as a teenager, I told them that I’ve had to accept that my life won’t turnout the way I’d like it to, that I’ve come to terms with the fact that not everything is possible for me. I said that the most important thing is to raise awareness of invisible illnesses because with more knowledge comes more opportunity for help and for hope.
I think it went well. In the discussion time afterwards all kinds of people came up to me to say that they thought I was really brave to talk about my condition so honestly and thanked me. One politician told me I should go into politics because they need more women who are passionate. I had my photo taken for a health service magazine and they took my number to do a follow-up interview later in the week. The leader of one political party wanted to speak to me one-on-one and took me to the members lounge for a coffee where I told him about all the crap I’ve had to deal with. His jaw dropped more than once and offered to do anything he could to help out.
At class last night, which only 4 of us turned up for, the head of History (who is my Facebook friend) asked me about my day and was impressed with my campaigning. It hadn’t really dawned on me that I was campaigning but I guess that is what I’m doing. I just want to raise awareness of endo and chronic pain and if telling my story to a room of strangers helps do that, then that’s what I’ll do.
I received an email today from the organiser of yesterday’s event thanking me and saying I’m a ‘shining example’. There’s a summit on pain in two weeks, an all-day conference to build upon yesterday. I’ve been asked to attend and hopefully some good will come of it. We need more awareness and acceptance. And apparently I’m now an activist for the cause.