Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Love Beats Hate

Love Beats Hate

I know quite a few people with chronic pain of various kinds. I myself have chronic migraines and use prescription medication to help control them.

Apparently, some people have decided it is OK to make fun of us, to ridicule us and insult us. I know it is difficult to understand chronic illness if you have not experienced it yourself, but to make fun of someone for something you do not understand is the lowest of low. It's so childish that children look down on it.

I have chronic migraines. My pain levels to not reach as high as people expect, but I get all the fun side effects. I get sensitivity to light and sound, fatigue, dizziness, vertigo, loss of concentration, tingling in hands and/or feet, random pains (usually in my temples), nausea, and other things. These used to last for days, even weeks, before I would get the standard migraine pain and get over it. I had a manager at one point who also got migraines, but not as frequently, with fewer side effects and higher pain. She couldn't understand that I could work through my migraines, that I didn't have to just go home. She didn't understand that if I went home every time I was getting a migraine, I would never be at work.

With some lifestyle changes and prescription medication, I have been able to somewhat control my migraines. Somewhat. But many people still don't understand.

I have friends with fibromyalgia, MS, migraines, crohn's, depression, bipolar, thyroid diseases, and other things that are chronic and often misunderstood. When I find out a friend has some kind of illness, disease, condition, etc., I educate myself. Of course, I am a little addicted to researching stuff on the internet. But I learn enough that I can be understanding.

I will admit that I am guilty of expecting everyone else to be like me. I expect people to be patient and willing to learn. All the while, I know I'm wrong. So many people are not willing to take the time and learn about a person. They judge, ridicule, and move on to the next victim.

I'm lucky in that my chronic condition is well known. Everyone knows about migraines, so people are more understanding. But diseases like fibro and crohn's are not well known, some people have never heard of them at all, and instead of learning, they ignore.

So how do we fight ignorance? Simple - with education. Educate yourself. Educate your family and friends. Do you know someone with a chronic condition? Look it up, learn about it.

I have focused on health issues, but the reason I am blogging today is to speak out for marginalized populations. This includes so much more. Homosexuals, even among themselves, do not always share understanding. Different races, nationalities, cultures, religions do not understand each other. Even people with different hobbies and styles can't seem to get along. People can't even agree on Star Trek vs. Star Wars (I'm a fan of both, by the way).

I'm not saying we should all be the same. That will never happen. We can, however, learn to get along. Tolerance, people, tolerance can work wonders. I don't agree with everyone's point of view, but I try to not let it get to me. If I greatly disagree, I just don't associate with them. They live their way and I live mine, but we both live in relative peace.

I do tend to ramble, don't I? Let's find a point and wrap it up. Education is the key. We don't all need college degrees, but through education we can learn to tolerate, if not appreciate, everyone around us. I know I'm talking about ideals here, but who doesn't have ideals? The best we can do is to work on ourselves and our immediate surroundings. Stand up for someone you know if they are being hurt or ridiculed. Educate those around you. Spread love, and it can defeat hate.


  1. Education really is a massive part of understanding and loving others, isn't it? Thank you for being so honest about how you feel and what you experience as it helps others to find that level of understanding and love much easier than if you remained silent...

    I had issues with a manager like you, who had suffered with Endo like me when she was younger, but as she had managed to "get on with it" she assumed I was weak and even told me so to my face. It took a lot of deep breathing and time to ease the hurt and anger this kind of reaction provoked and to remember the very lesson you have mentioned in this post: education and patience.

    Thank you for sharing this with us all today xx

  2. Amanda - thanks so much! Endo is another one I forgot to mention. My sister has it, so I have learned a lot about that one. It's not the kind of thing you just get over. So sorry you had to go through that!

  3. I have migraines too, but not as often as yours I think. My heart is with you.

    I'm not sure how you can educate a hater, i can't understand where they are mentally, but posts like this and support from other bloggers can certainly lift us all up and spread so good stuff.

    Thanks for posting. I joined the posting cause too.

    Peace to you.

  4. Lovely post. As Amanda reiterated, education is vital. It gets others to better understand what we're living with, as well as prevent prejudice.

  5. Great insight for Love Beats Hate!

    Education & tolerance are so important.

  6. I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression after the birth of my second son Blake, and I will admit that before then I had the tendency to think that these women were full of crap. But having walked more than a mile in those shoes I can say now how totally wrong I was and how misunderstood the condition is. I tried to deny that I had a problem for a long, long time until I was hospitalized. I am still battling with medications, trying to get everything "in balance", but if one good thing came of it it was a whole new appreciation for what people are going through when they have a problem; be it migraines, depression, or crohns and for that I am thankful.

    Wonderful blog hon, very insightful.

    "Love One Another" ~George Harrison's dying words~

  7. I have one of those silly, hardly known conditions - Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Education is such a huge thing for me, just educating the people around me through my blog has made a huge difference in my life. Sometimes there are things that I write about that I wouldn't want to sit and burden one person with in conversation, but by posting on a blog, I can just be happy knowing that the information is out there and those who care about me will read it. Thank you for an insightful post :)

  8. Events like this are great educational venues!

    Hoping that those who choose to be close minded have an opening of their hearts and minds. They have a choice, people with illness do not.

  9. C.E.,

    Excellent post! Thank you for writing for Love Beats Hate! Yes, education and tolerance are incredibly important!! You're absolutely right. When people have a better understanding of others' journeys and when they can empathize with them, it makes a world of difference!

    I must confess that I totally related to what you said here:

    I will admit that I am guilty of expecting everyone else to be like me. I expect people to be patient and willing to learn. All the while, I know I'm wrong. So many people are not willing to take the time and learn about a person. They judge, ridicule, and move on to the next victim.

    I sometimes catch myself expecting people to approach things the way I do or think about them the way I think about them. I know what you mean here. :)

    I think I also understand what my dear buddy Jannie meant by not knowing how to "educate a hater".

    I think the general concept you talked about (people educating themselves about illnesses affecting those around them, people educating others) can pose challenges but can be achievable oftentimes.

    However, I think the "haters" Jannie mentioned present an extra layer of challenges and that it can be much more difficult to educate them. (I know Jannie is about the most positive, loving, caring person I've ever met and I definitely don't think she meant to say that education isn't important)! I believe she was speaking strictly about the haters... on that part where she questioned how the haters can be educated.

    I believe events like this really can help counteract the negativity out there and shift the spotlight onto love rather than hate.

    Thanks for the great post! :)


  10. Education is so important!!! I have CFIDS, chronic fatigue immune-deficiency syndrome, another invisible illness which almost nobody knows about unless they have it!!! It is a debilitating illness, that's as far as I'll go to say anything about it, but most people hear "chronic fatigue" and think that's all it is, when it is much more complex and distressing (pain, infections, digestive issues, etc...)

    As a result, I end up coping alone, because very very few people even ask what I am dealing with. So there is no support. My family thinks I've made up that I'm ill. It's distressing.

    Anyway, thanks so much for posting this. I think that perhaps we could start to educate people when they are very young, in elementary school. As a former public school teacher, I know that teaching compassion is crucial. In the classroom, there is always some child who has some chronic condition, which I'm not saying should be addressed publicly...but all kids get colds/sore throats/etc....and can learn through these experiences how to have compassion for those who have more serious ailments.

    Imagine if people grew up understanding how many others cope with chronic problems, what a different world we might live in : more humane, more connected, more honest, more loving.