I recently wrote a post on social media about my health struggles. Having disappeared from the online world without explanation, I had come to terms with my feelings and felt ready to share. Part of my motivation for sharing what I had been going through was to help myself to heal and for my peace of mind. I also wanted to let people who are used to hearing from me know that I wasn’t ignoring them. I didn’t expect many people to see the post because social media algorithms favor those who are more active online.
However, once the comments started, they kept coming. More and more people expressed their love and support. The messages weren’t just from friends and family members. I received comments from people to whom I haven’t spoken in a long while, and from others I don’t know. I began to read responses such as, “You inspire me because … ” and “I admire your strength because … ” These made me genuinely happy. It made me feel valued for the person I have become over the past 27 years.
I won’t deny that I like to see comments like these. But, most of the time, I’ll read those words, smile, and move on. I realized that when people don’t explain why I inspire them their words don’t bring me genuine happiness. I’m not an inspiration because I was born with faulty genes. After all, everyone has challenges in their lives.
Whenever I’m feeling down about my limited capabilities, I pull up that post because it reminds me that I have a purpose. It shows me why people support me. I don’t want to be pitied or be told generic niceties to make me feel better. I know that these messages come from a place of compassion. But I want to be valued for me, not because I happen to have a disease.
So when you see someone who inspires you, don’t merely tell them that they inspire you. Tell them why.
» Follow my journey at The Living, Breathing Wendy «
Note: Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cystic Fibrosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cystic fibrosis.