Something strange happened today.
Something that won’t leave my aching, blurred and spinning head.
After a night of migraines, vomitting, spinning, aching and terrible pain and tiredness… I got an email.
Today I got an email back from a group I contacted awhile ago and forgot. Deadly bloggers wrote to me and asked me if I identified as someone with an indeginous background.
It was a lovely email but it got me thinking much more than my head can operate at. I started thinking about the question of identity. Who are we?
I have struggled with these questions ever since I got sick. Who am I now? What can I do now? What is important to me?
But first I must go back a few steps.
Later in life, my 20s / 30s, my mother learned that she had an aboriginal grandmother. She was surprised. We were all shocked how this could have been kept from us for all these years. Sadly my mother died before revealing and meeting more of her past; Our past.
I felt that since my skin was white and that I had never stepped foot in an aboriginal community, what could I ever know or do? So I got on with chasing my dreams of career and corporate ladders.
Time passed. Growing up in Queensland meant that I knew and made friends with various groups. Moving to big cities made it possible to meet more. I never really saw colour. I saw people. I saw actions. I saw hopes and dreams. The more people I met the more I realised we are all the same at heart. We want a life worth living. Happiness. Respect. Learning. Experiencing. Dignity.
In those days I would have called myself an ambitious, happy, driven, fun loving ‘seeker’. I wanted to do SO much. Meet people. Travel. Learn my skills… Just live.
Then I got sick.
Identity crisis set in. What am I now? What can I do now?
With job gone, career over, I was being pin balled from specialist to medicine to scanner to specialist again. Never ending cycle of pain and frustration.
The people I once knew, almost all were gone. I felt a loss of identity that neither race, colour, religion, background or location could remedy. I was a sick wife with fur kids.
Then slowly I met some other autoimmune sufferers, which led me to some more chronic illness fighters, which led me to people and places all over the world! My world broadened again. I became Autoimmunitygirl.
I started blogging for no other reason than to raise awareness of the realities of what life is like for many of us. I felt I had nothing to lose as I had lost most everything anyway. I wanted to help. I wanted to talk openly about the things that some people may feel afraid to show for personal reasons.
I have been starting to piece together a goal, a focus, a mission… An identity.
So now I want to help ALL those who are trying to fight chronic illness, no matter who they are, or where. There are SO many of us out there.
I have been sitting here asking myself how would identify myself now? …
Am I Autoimmune fighter? Wife? Animal rescuer? Melbournian? Disabled? Indigenous heritage? German/Irish heritage? Queenslander? Wheelchair user? Feminist? Artist? Gardner?
I think I am ALL of these. And more.
As Autoimmunitygirl I am a keen and passionate health advocate. That’s what I care about. It doesn’t matter what colour, race, age, sex, religion, financial status or educational level you are! Autoimmune diseases DONT discriminate. And neither do I.
I hope what I do helps everyone affected by chronic health challenges. Everyone. That is my only agenda.
If I can help ONE person feel understood and respected, using the skills, talents, hard work and love than I will.
I want to thank anyone and everyone who has helped me get this far and who supports me in my efforts to spread awareness and respect.
In this life I have learned a most valuable lesson, which is, “love the people who love you and support the people who support you”.