I have lupus. Ever heard of it? Neither did the guy on the train that i tried to convince to give up his seat for me when I was returning from my regular visit to the hospital. Its embarrassing! Having to submit an argument whenever I require help or assistance. From the outside I look normal, so why should anyone let me sit?
So lupus is a kind of rare condition and there’s not much knowledge about it. It’s come to light recently in the media with Selena Gomez being diagnosed with it and Lady Gaga naming her new album after her aunt Joanna that died of the disease. From my experience it just makes you feel weak as hell. My muscles and joints ache after doing the simplest of activities but most people would just see this and call it laziness. Very disheartening after I try with all my might to not let my condition get in the way of my life.
I know that thousands of other people are in the same boat as me and it’s very upsetting. Coming to terms with the fact that I am ‘disabled’ is hard enough, asking for help is also hard, suffering the pain I feel on a daily basis is even harder… but someone judging me for stepping out of my car from a disabled parking space when I look totally fine is extremely difficult. I feel ashamed. I’ve sometimes even faked a limp just to avoid people from looking out for ‘what’s wrong with me’. It’s pathetic I know.
I often think about how someone would react if they were told that the guy they refused to help with his suitcase up the flight of stairs had cancer and such. Maybe they’d think ‘damn I missed out on a chance to look like a good, thoughtful guy that cares for the less fortunate’. Why is it that we only want to do things if they benefit ourselves? It’s saddening to think of the selfish nature of mankind.
I sincerely hope that maybe the Christmas season will encourage everyone to be considerate not just to those who look like they need help but to one and all. Hold a door or two open. Move your bag off that train seat in rush hour. You never know how much these little things can help a person… especially one with an invisible disability.