What is Invisible Illness Creatives?
Invisible Illness Creatives (IIC) is a social media safe space for people with invisible illnesses in creative roles to share their stories.
Many creatives do not discuss their illnesses because it affects the branding of their businesses, but is actually a really big part of their lives and their success.
Here, creatives can share their experiences of living with invisible illnesses while pursuing and harnessing professional success.
What is an Invisible Illness?
An invisible illness is a physical or mental deficit that is not immediately apparent.
Some of the most common invisible illnesses include but are not limited to:
- Allergies and food intolerances
- Arthritis, especially rheumatoid
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Depression and mental illness
- Diabetes (all types)
- Celiac, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Heart conditions
- Migraine and headache sufferers
- Multiple Sclerosis
For example, these impairments are not always obvious to the onlooker, but can sometimes or always limit daily activities, they range from mild challenges to severe limitations, and vary from person to person.
Why is IIC important, and
why should you share your story?
Having an invisible illness shouldn't restrict you from living your life ON PURPOSE. By sharing your story you help smash stigmas, and IIC is the platform where you can share your journey. Making this world a more aware and inclusive place all starts with your story.
Not ready to share yet? That's okay! When you are ready, the world will be waiting to hear your point of view and just how magnificent and powerful you are. In the meantime, follow our Facebook, Instagram and blog for inspiring posts and narratives of success over stigma.
Why I started IIC...
In 2004, at the age of 9, I dropped 22lbs in 10 days. I went to the pediatrician who told me I suffered from bulimia because I was using the restroom frequently. My mother, an RN, asked if they could check my urine for “ketones” (excessive sugar in the urine). A few minutes later, the nurse came back with the test result, her face as white as a ghost. They diagnosed me with type-one diabetes and before I knew it, I was on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance on my way to the “big city” hospital where I would learn about my new life.
The medical team told me I would be living a very routine and strict lifestyle in order to manage my diabetes. I’d have to eat the same meals at the same time each day, exercise the same amount and intensity, and do everything methodically. So what did I do? I decided to be a musician –– one of the most irregular and difficult career paths to pursue. LOL. But here I am, 16 years later, doing better than they ever would've guessed.
The year I was diagnosed, my 4th grade class was taking a field trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to see the race cars for the Indy 500. My teacher told me I wasn’t allowed to go because she was afraid I couldn’t handle my diabetes. She told me to stay home from school the day of the trip and she wouldn’t dock my attendance.
I never realized how messed up this was as a kid. I was a very independent and well-managed child, but I simply accepted her judgement as how I’d be treated and how my diagnosis would limit me in life. It wasn’t until a few years later when I went to a summer camp for children with diabetes that I realized I’m not different at all, I just have to do certain things differently. At camp, I got to talk to kids dealing with the same crap as me. Whether they were born with the disease, or diagnosed last week, everyone had wisdom to share. I learned the power and importance of telling your story. Sharing not only affirms your own journey, but it also encourages others who may be grappling with comparable issues.
10 years later, I sang the National Anthem for the Brickyard 250 Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on behalf of the American Diabetes Association live on ESPN. All I’m saying is, you can do anything, because a diagnosis doesn’t determine your destiny—you do. SO LET'S TALK ABOUT IT!