I remember talking to friends I had known for years and hinting or telling them about my depression, only to get the response, “But you’re so happy!”
I’ve been living with an invisible disability for what feels like a hundred years. While living with an observable disability comes with massive burdens, invisible disabilities (IDs) present their own issues for sufferers. IDs can be crippling for anyone trying to take part in normal society.
Earlier this year I had a sudden exit from a relationship and was struggling at my full-time job. In a moment of boldness/weakness, I reached out to one of my safe women’s communities online to see if anyone else was feeling like I was. That turned into informal interviews, which snowballed into more formal interviews. That all resulted in a proposal to the Grace Hopper Celebration about Invisible Disabilities, women, and careers. There were a lot of similarities, but the most glaring is that this is a tough topic to talk about and is often overlooked because often the symptoms are ‘invisible’.
Each story I receive reminds me that I’m not alone. And every time I tell my own story, I heal just a little more and become stronger.
The goal of this project is to put a voice to the struggles of professional women with invisible disabilities. Around 10% of the population suffers from them (https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/invisible/), meaning there are plenty of stories, plenty of data, and plenty of room for progress. The more voices are heard about the subject, the closer we will become to a society that accommodates the real-life struggle of invisible disabilities.
Want to get stronger by adding your story to the research? Even if you choose to remain anonymous, having your story added to the research will get us all that much closer to mass awareness and understanding. Fill out the form below.
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