As part of our Hidden Stories project, we're asking people from our community (and beyond) to share their experiences of living with an 'invisible' illnesses – it could be anything from anxiety to autism, OCD to ME. We believe that only by sharing our experiences can we begin to understand them – and one another.
Given the chance, people almost always respond sympathetically to suffering in others. But we do need to be given that chance to respond. We need to be able to see behind the mask.
Ninety per cent of people who relate to having a disability don't have any visible symptoms, which often leads to misunderstanding, judgement and isolation. With Hidden Stories, we want to shine a light on the wide range of emotional and physical struggles that are unseen by the world – and encourage more compassionate conversation around them.
Be part of our project. Share your Hidden Story with us.
How does your invisible condition affect your everyday life? How you cope with it? How do you experience people's reactions to you and the things you do to keep your condition hidden? What kind gestures or dismissals have you experienced along the way?
Or can you offer a perspective as a friend, family member or carer? Or as someone who now feels differently after learning about another person's experience with an invisible illness?
Why your story matters
Your story would form part of our Living Library, which would inspire people to explore, with compassion, what may be hidden in their communities, and challenge perceptions and behaviour towards people with invisible conditions. Our Living Library will also empower others to share their experiences and help to break the cycle of isolation and judgement – because only by sharing our experiences can we begin to understand them.
Get in touch with Jessica (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we'll help you to (sensitively) share your story and get support if you need it.