Click here to listen to a reading of this blog:
I am fortunate enough to be able to travel, hold down a job (because many thyroid patients struggle with this), have some good friends and an active social life.
But I do still have chronic health conditions.
This means that at times, my health can give me tougher than usual days and really test my patience.
However, it’s OK to have less than perfect health days. In fact, it’s completely human. No regular, non-chronically ill person is healthy 100% of the time. They still catch illnesses.
However, what worries me is that people confuse the way in which I honestly share all my ups and downs with the thyroid community, as a thyroid patient advocate, with being unwell and not living a full life. And this can be frustrating because I want people to see me and The Invisible Hypothyroidism by extension, as a reliable and knowledgeable source of information on living with Hypothyroidism and its related conditions.
By meshing the knowledge I have learnt through my own thyroid journey back to good health, with my own, personal experiences, I try to create something authentic and genuine; a place that people know they are understood and made to realise that they are not alone in what they experience. I am still learning and I’m sharing that as I go along.
Other thyroid patient advocates may not share their personal experiences like I do – the ups and downs with always trying to keep your endocrine health on track and managing the balance between all the functions, hormones and issues that can arise – but I do. And I like to think that’s what makes The Invisible Hypothyroidism unique.
By no means read one of my blogs and take from it that I am extremely unwell with Hypothyroidism, or even the opposite (assuming I am 100% healthy forevermore). Making such assumptions isn’t realistic and no thyroid patient, advocate or not, is going to be 100% healthy every day of their lives.
But what I hope sets me apart is that I don’t pussy foot around this or try to hide the fact that, like you all, I have good and bad days too. And as a patient advocate, I’m not only responsible for equipping you with the tools and knowledge to get back to good thyroid health, but I’m also responsible for giving an honest and authentic experience of living with this lifelong condition. And that includes admitting when there’s a blip in my health, because we all have blips in our health.
Since day one of my blog, I have meshed together being a knowledgable thyroid patient and someone still going through the journey. Because it is ongoing. It’s always ongoing!
Instagram in particular is a place where people don’t tend to like any negativity. Filled with profiles on self-improvement, weight loss, spiritual journeys and the like, I am aware that when I post about any kind of struggle or symptom linked to living with my chronic illness and mainly hypothyroidism, people insist on trying to give me all the answers because they assume I am still extremely unwell from one post depicting a blip. A flare up.
It’s just a symptom of being so transparent, real, open and honest about my struggles. I just don’t want people to confuse me being honest to reassure others of their struggles, with not being knowledgeable or advocating for my own health. After all, that is The Invisible Hypothyroidism’s mission! Having blips, highs and lows and struggles with hypothyroidism is totally OK and we need to be aware that it is in fact also very normal.
How do you feel about this topic? Feel free to share in the comments section below.
Please remember that if you’re a thyroid patient living with poor mental health or lingering physical symptoms, that you don’t have to live this way. To address why you may still be feeling unwell (often despite being on thyroid medication too), please see this article and go through each suggestion, putting your thyroid jigsaw back together.
You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.
The book Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate: When You’re Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired, which builds on this article and explains how Rachel got her health back on track with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism. Reclaim your thyroid healthy life.
Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, blogger, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. She has two books: ‘Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate‘ and ‘You, Me and Hypothyroidism‘. Her thyroid advocacy work includes authoring books, writing articles, blogging and speaking on podcasts. Rachel has worked with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, BBC, The Mighty, Yahoo, MSN, ThyroidChange and more. She is well-recognised as a useful contributor to the thyroid community and has received multiple awards and recognitions for her work and dedication. Although British, she advocates for thyroid patients worldwide.