Who is a Sick Chick?
A Sick Chick is one of the thousands upon thousands of young women living with chronic illness today.
One of the hundreds of thousands newly diagnosed every year.
A Sick Chick is a woman who has been suffering for a long time, and who is looking for a new way to live.
A Sick Chick is a young woman sitting in the doctor’s office being told that no, it’s not just that she is tired, or that it’s just some muscle pain. Actually, he’s very sorry to say but it’s a lot more serious than that. And there isn’t a cure.
A Sick Chick is a woman who 50 years ago would have died, but she didn’t and she has to figure out what it means to live.
A Sick Chick is the girl who is tired of people referring to her by her illness, or defining her by it.
Who wants to be, “oh, Jen – she has lupus”?
Maybe Jen wants to be, “oh, Jen, she’s amazing, she does judo and runs a charity helping inner- city children find support and direction through non-confrontational martial arts”.
(In case you are wondering, you can do judo even if you can’t sit up. I know; I learned.)
Sick Chicks are frustrated by people staring at their impairments, and are even more frustrated that the attention is affecting their self- esteem.
Sick Chicks are angry that people dismiss their invisible disabilities.
The woman in the hospital gown, who was supposed to have been at a great gig right now, but is instead stuck in bed, feeling patronised and lonely, swallowed by a hospital system which, in it’s efficiency, leaves little space for individuality. She wonders where her life went, and if she can ever get it back? She is a Sick Chick, and she’s not alone.
I was so fed up with being known as the Sick Chick. It was the first thing people said about me, the thing they always asked about: “Are you better yet?”. As though I was just being a slow coach and if I worked harder somehow (come on nerves, come on kidneys, chop chop, heal) it would all be OK. I would become normal again.
I am not normal, but I was fed up with being ‘other’. Of feeling that the only way I was allowed self- esteem and to belong was to try and pass as non- disabled. It’s a bit hard to do, actually (the wheelchair tends to be a big clue).
We flipped our thinking to empowerment. I stopped thinking of myself as being other, being odd and different, being the crazy one going to the very edges of healing to survive.
If I’m always forging a new path, then maybe I’m not a healing freak, a weird Sick Chick, I’m a Trail Blazer!
Who is a Trail Blazer?
A Trail Blazer… is a woman who is empowered. She is taking charge of her healing. She is in charge of her life, making decisions, informed choices and taking action.
A Trail Blazer is creating the best possible environment to heal in.
She isn’t other; she’s breaking boundaries.
She isn’t weird; she is a pioneer.
She isn’t typecast; she is a living, breathing, shining adventure story.
She isn’t redundant; she has so much to offer the world through her presence and her living.
A Trail Blazer can speak to her doctors about her conditions, ask the right questions, and understand the answers.
A Trail Blazer is following in the foot steps of all those angels who have trod this path, and is making it possible for women coming after her to live well with illness.
A Trail Blazer is asking what the alternatives are, who has managed this before and how can she find them.
A Trail Blazer is an exceptional patient.
A Trail Blazer is educating the hospital that milk is not the only source of calcium
(Some Trail Blazers cure the incurable.)
A Trail Blazer is giving lie to the invalid stereotype.
A Trail Blazer makes magic out of what she has.
A Trail Blazer writes poetry in her last days.
A Trail Blazer knows that she is not just amazing, she is real and living.
A Trail Blazer let’s her condition be a wake- up call to live.
A Trail Blazer finds a way to create diamonds in the terrible pressure she is put through.
What if I’m both?
Trail Blazers are not exclusionary and Trail Blazer doesn’t mean cured. You can be a Trail Blazer even when you feel like a Sick Chick – the difference is, as a Trail Blazer we are no longer allowing our illnesses and disabilities to define us.
Of course they affect us, but then so does the climate and culture we live in. The difference here is, can we make ourselves in the important bit and the illness the background noise?
Even when I was bed bound, I was still me, I was still the important bit – not the diagnosises I was being labelled with.
How to Turn Trail Blazer?
It’s possible, easy and you can begin today. But it’s a little longer than I can cover here. But that’s why I’ve created…
How to Blaze a Trail Mini Course – begin today and create wellness actions that transform your world. When you sign up you get a quick but powerful lesson that will land in your inbox every day for the next 5 days. Want to turn Trail Blazer? Feeling excited?
What do you think? When do you feel like a Sick Chick and like a Trail Blazer? Share your thoughts over on our Facebook page…