Do you feel inspired?


We all see them, the chronically ill who are living amazing lives, even doing things above and beyond what most “normals” do.  They don’t let their illnesses stop them.  They thrive despite their illness.  These people are supposed to be an inspiration.  We are to be amazed and we’re supposed to look at them and realize, “Hey, if they can do it so can I.”  (does that really work?)

There always seems to be a celebrity who has the same disease you do.  As a spokesperson for our illness they are supposed to be an inspiration, after all, if they can do it, why can’t I?

Do they really inspire you?  Does it give you hope?  Or does it make you feel inadequate?  Does it make you feel bad because you haven’t been able to do what “normals” would define as remarkable things in spite of our illness.

For me, it’s often the later.  I feel inadequate because I simply cannot do the things I used to, let alone do extraordinary things that I’ve never even thought of doing.

It concerns me that people will compare me to those “inspiring” people and think that I’m exaggerating the severity of my symptoms.  I’ve had well-intentioned friends and family members send me articles about someone who has Meniere’s Disease and how they are are either living amazing lives despite Meniere’s, or they were “cured”.  This happened a lot when Dana White (president of the United Fighting Championship), underwent a treatment for his Meniere’s and it was a “miracle cure”.  What they don’t realize is that there is more than one cause of Meniere’s, so his treatment may do nothing for me; he has Meniere’s in one ear, I have it in both.  They also seem to ignore the fact that he had to go to Germany to have this procedure done….ummm, who’s going to pay for this?  Not my insurance that’s for sure.  and just how safe is it?  After they send these messages, I wonder, do they think I’m not doing everything I can?

When we hear that someone is an inspiration, it is supposed to be a positive thing, but inspiration can be negative.  You can inspire people to do bad things.  Look at Charles Manson or Adolf Hitler, for example, they inspired people to do all kinds of horrible things.  They were very inspirational, just not like we have been conditioned to think of the word.

The people who inspire me to try harder, to live more fully, to embrace life, and simply care more are the amazing people I meet who have chronic illnesses and can still love their life, with all it’s limitations.  I’m amazed by the people who undergo many painful medical procedures and still greet each day with love.  I’m positively inspired by those who are able to push through and do the everyday things, even when life is just so hard. The people who show compassion and support to others despite the fact that they get so little themselves, these are some of the people who inspire me to be the best me I can.

I’m not saying that famous people can’t be a positive inspiration, I’m simply saying that is not always the case.  When I see a list of famous people who suffer from vertigo, it doesn’t inspire me to do anything.  I feel compassion for them, and I often wonder exactly how much they battle with their illness behind the scenes.  What are we not seeing?  The phrase, “but you don’t look sick”, sure hits home when we see someone like the beautiful Selena Gomez, who has Lupus.

Then I hear things like, “Nicolas Cage suffers from vertigo all the time”.  Ummm, really?  All-the-time?  I could believe he has disequilibrium all the time, but full blown vertigo, no way.  I simply do not believe it.  If he has vertigo all the time and can function as well as he does, that would be a miracle.  I can believe that he may have recurring vertigo, but not constantly.  I’m pretty sure I’d kill myself if I had full blown vertigo all the time.


Who inspires you to be the best you can be?

Do you get positively inspired by famous people who have your illness?

Does it make you feel inadequate when you hear that someone who has the same illness that you have has done something like run marathons, or started a successful business, or has won the “Golden Buzzer” award on America’s Got Talent, like Mandy Harvey did, who is deaf?

Am I the only one who is rarely “inspired” by these stories?


*image is a screen shot from


17 thoughts on “Do you feel inspired?

  1. Nope. Heaps of us are mightily p***ed off by so-called celebrities and exceptionally exceptional individuals who remind us of our own limitations. I can be amazed by other people’s achievements but usually when they have clearly, at one time, been ordinary members of the community like me and my friends. PS. Most American “celebrities” are actors, ie. people who make aliving out of pretending to be other people. That’s not much of an achievement in my books so just as well some of them also overcome real handicaps and disabilities to display their art. Hollywood has much to answer for, eg. Trump. Gahhh!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a brilliant post!  ♥
    I was saying something similar a while ago when I first had my stoma. I was told time and time again about how there were lots of people with one and they could do anything, I know so-and-so who goes swimming 5 times a week and is going to run the marathon, while so-and-so was spending 6 months in Australia blah blah. I’ve heard more since with fibromyalgia and other conditions, and it holds true for so-called celebrities and ‘normal’ every day people. I don’t like it all that much, this kind of “wow, look what you could be doing!” jazz, because it doesn’t account for individual differences in our situations, our health, our emotions, our finances or our lives full stop. It makes me feel inadequate, that I’m not living up to expectations and that I fall short of what others “in my situation” could/should do. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Caz! Sounds like I hit the nail on the head. 😄 I’m happy to find that someone else feels the same as I do.
      My blogging family inspire me to be the best me I can. Not these people that I can’t relate to at all. 😕
      xo –

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely hate hearing well… so-and-so has “fibroglia?”… well that thing you have, and they are working.” Lady Gaga, thanks for nothing! She made fibro normalized. I don’t have a team of doctors and therapist following me around or cleaning my house $$$. No. I DO have a ton of respect for those who are struggling every day and make it through the day! Tons of respect!!! You nailed this post, Wen! (I read one on the mighty from Caz that was about positivity having the opposite effect, coincides with this post.) May I reblog??? ~Kim

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  4. Pingback: Do you feel inspired? — Picnic with Ants – Stone in the Road

  5. Yes! I hear the tales of those with fibro who work and travel and give talks and raise families…and here I am alone and am happy just to function enough to live by myself (and tend to a cat) when I rarely ever leave the apartment. I hear about the other people who are grandmothers and take care of their grandchildren…when strictly “visiting” for a day (where I don’t have to DO anything and have never changed a diaper) takes me 2-3 days to recover enough to get dressed. It’s the same with a short visit to the dentist, for that matter.

    Even the commercials for fibro medications annoy the heck out of me. Take this pill and you will be normal again. Even my rheumatologist gets so frustrated. He said it would be generous to say they might help 10% of his patients. The pharmaceutical companies bought up a lot of the smaller companies that made medications that helped, had few side effects, and were cheap–so they could stop making them and put out different new expensive stuff that doesn’t work well and has all kinds of side effects…but have great commercials.

    My goal in life is to stay positive. Sometimes that is quite enough to manage and all I get done in a day. I hear you! We do what we can do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Rita, we do the best we can do.
      I think that is something amazing.
      Look at you for example, you’ve found a way to live a happy fulfilling life with your illness. That inspires me to do the same.
      Big Pharma is bad news, I hear more and more bad things about that.
      Argh! Makes me so mad.
      But as you said, I try to stay positive, and keep strive to be the best me I can, who just happens to be sick.


  6. It’s like I always say, no one ever sees me when I’m down. Even on the days I just post a quick instagram, that amount to 5 minutes of me taking a picture, editing it, throwing a filter on it, and posting it. And then I go lie down.
    “Invisible illness” exists so perfectly in the void doesn’t it? If I’m having a good day, I’m up, dressed, hair & make-up (because I’m incredibly shallow =P) and “presentable”. But the days my head hurts or I’m struggling, no one sees. Even when I had MRSA for most of a year, I still did everything I could to look….well, not as sick as I was.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Inadequate for me. Keep throwing a bunch of money at me, and everyone else who needs money, so that we are on the same playing fie!d as tbe Dana Whites and Lady Gagas of the world and we can see if we feel inspired or inspirational.

    Or cured! Or at least able to manage day to day life and get some independence and normalcy back. That would be swell.

    I know people mean well and sharing information is important, but my dad used to say “you need to get better, aren’t you getting better so you can go back to work” like this is a life we chose to live.

    And something else that is missing for some is a great support system. If someone is able to start a business, keep working, have some normalcy, good for them! But, not all of us have that in our lives..

    What is also needed is to acknowledge that we are all individuals and while we may have similar diseases or symptoms, we all have different medical needs and different personalities. Comparing us to others doesn’t help.

    So many tnoughts as I was reading this post.

    Gah, have to win tbe lottery to be able to help myself to a great degree. I remember when I usec to daydream about going on trips and buying things if I won. Now, it’s about where can I go for medical help to hopefully get cured or become well enough so that I can get some independence and normalcy back. Not how it is supposed to be.

    Liked by 1 person

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