Why Do I Advocate?

What is advocacy, well if you asked the internet, the first thing that pops up on mine is this:

“Advocacy in all its forms seeks to ensure that people, particularly those who are most vulnerable in society, are able to: Have their voice heard on issues that are important to them. Defend and safeguard their rights. Have their views and wishes genuinely considered when decisions are being made about their lives.1

Truly the best explanation I have come across, Thank you Wikipedia. In my opinion normalizing conversations about illness, conditions, and mental health that goes with them are imperative to changing the stigma that surrounds us on a daily basis. That is something worth fighting for.

Finding the time to advocate

Someone asked me the other day: “Where do you find the time for all the things you do, how do you have the energy to advocate, moderate, write and still do life?” Well, it is simple really, that is all part of my life. We are all given the same 24 hours every day; it is how we chose to spend them that really makes the difference. In the same conversation, I was asked: "Is it worth it?” People do not always understand why we do the things we do. Just like the money in our wallet, it is about what we chose to spend our time on.

Fitting in advocacy efforts with my day to day responsibilities

Some days I am spread thin, heaven knows I do not even know how I get to it all. Working a normal a 9-5 day job, I am a single mom, I also volunteer for our local psoriasis association. I moderate on various Facebook groups and I write. Somewhere in between, I find time to socialize and spend quality time with my daughter and family. Undoubtedly there is always time to read a book.

Why I advocate

So why do I do this all, why do I intentionally take on all of this? It is so simple for me. When I was first diagnosed, I experienced what must have been the loneliest time of my life. Thanks to other people who also made time to do what I do now, I found comfort, strength, and friends. Most importantly, the will to keep fighting this condition on all fronts every day. If in my lifetime, I can just give that back for one person, my heart will be happy. What we would not give to live in a society where there is more understanding and acceptance for those of us who are ill, or just different.

I'm grateful to be able to advocate

That is why, and yes it is worth it. Every day I am grateful for the fact that I am able to use the experiences life threw at me, to lend a hand to people who are going through the same thing.

But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. - Elizabeth Edwards

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