The first time it happened, I used to hate them for it.
I really did, but I was 18 and hurting a great deal.
Just because I look broken does not mean I am not like you.
I feel, care, hurt and bleed too. Sometimes profusely and simultaneously.
Later when it was the prayers, the laying on of the hands, the constant questions, the inquisitiveness, the over-zealous interest I felt exposed and betrayed. As thought my body, in failing to do what I wished, had opened me up for the world to see and to enquire about.
I do not believe illness should be a taboo topic but I have a right to my privacy too. And not to be discussed over dinner.
You see, it isn’t as interesting for me as it is for you. I am living it.
Not quite as open for pontification, not hypothetical when it is one’s own body.
I am talking of course, about something so many of us have to negotiate when we have an illness, a visible or invisible disability, the comments, the questions, the “So, what’s wrong with you?”
I have been asked:
:: Will you ever walk again? (Hi, I don’t believe we’ve been introduced, I’m Grace, how do you do?)
:: Isn’t it funny. So funny, bodies, aren’t they? (Not wildly, no)
:: I wonder when they will find a cure? (I’ve no idea, and in the mean time please don’t report to me what you read in some random health bulletin, it’s not helpful and it’s boring)
:: It’s so sad, at your age. Soooo illlllll soooooo younnnng! (it’s almost turned into a song. Linus and I were treated to chorus and verse of it again and again, a lament struck up at the sight of my wheelchair)
:: Aren’t you brave? (no. Fighter pilots, yes; firefighters, yes; Mahatma Ghandi, yes; me, no)
:: What did you do to yourself then? (would you believe me if I told you it involved a tiger, a tightrope and a freak accident with trapeze-outfit with spangles?)
What if I told you that you could craft a response to their probing questions that would free you from being defined by your illness or disability?
What if your answer could be a micro- revolution, an education, and an elevation all in one?
If you have been on the receiving end of such comments and you long to know what on earth to say when faced with these questions – I have something for you:
* Analysis of how you currently answer the big question (“What’s wrong with you?”)
* Examples of effective real-life pitches
* How you want people to react to your answer
* The reasons WHY people ask you probing questions about your disability
* How to pick your new super-hero title
Three pages of self-reflection worksheets that will help you craft your Perfect Pitch.
The eBook takes you step-by-step through the process of creating your Perfect Pitch—the identity you want to show off to the world. Purchase Pitch Perfect: What’s Wrong With You? Today for just £10/$16US.
If you want to know what on earth to say without offending people like me, I have something for you too:
Illness Etiquette: What Can I Say?
It explains what you CAN say and why it matters. Go and read it now, because you are lovely and don’t want to inadvertently offend people and sometimes it can feel like a minefield when all you can find is what not to say
Here is an opportunity to ignite conversations that heal and connect us all.