After living in a body for the past year that seems to have a mind of it’s own I’ve learned self worth and value more than I ever thought I would. I’ve learned how to be confident. I’ve learned how to be strong. Most importantly I’ve learned to value others. Some of the most self conscious people on this earth are those with Invisible Illnesses. They struggle with worry of being accepted by the “normies”. They strive to feel beautiful in the body of theirs that seems to be constantly failing them. And they bear the weight of knowing they aren’t seen like everyone else in someones eyes. I’ve learned over the past year that an illness can only define you if you let it. When I started my blog I thought I was insane for calling it “I have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome” talk about defining me huh? However I’ve learned better than I ever will that although I do have POTS it will never be who I am. I was born Merideth and always will be Merideth. I often struggle with accepting the fact that it is indeed a part of me as it more than often feels as if it’s consuming my life but then I have to look in the mirror and tell my self how stupid that is. In the mirror there is a girl staring back at me and that girl isn’t POTS but is indeed me, Merideth. It’s hard to find people that will accept you as that and who are able to look past your illness and it’s a shame that it is that way but that is the world we live in. I look at all the amazing people I’ve met this past year with invisible illnesses and my jaw drops in awe as I realize how truly beautiful they are. I find beauty in the way you deal with what you’ve been handed in life. I wish I could tell you about each and everyone of them but I’m afraid I’d be here for eons as I have so much to say about them, I’m also afraid my fingers would fall off from typing! So like I said these are some of the most beautiful people; feeding tubes, scars, lost hair, ports, wheelchairs, and all. They’re beautiful. It’s hard to accept yourself when your life has been so altered by an illness. You see yourself as this sort of distant creature, you lose the sort of “connected with your body” feeling, and become this person so lost in what they’ve been living in their whole life. I think that’s what’s the scariest about it all; coping, accepting, and living again. Every day life for someone with an invisible illness is like a whirlwind of it’s own but then you throw in people or what my friend Suzy likes to call “normies” the healthy people that don’t necessarily understand. I will say over and over again I will never expect anyone to understand what it’s like but I will however expect you treat people with respect just as you would anyone else. It’s honestly appauling how gutsy some people can be when it comes to judging others. I’ve never understood how someone who is in fact a human just like everyone else on this earth, no different thinks they are entitled to put someone else down in such a way. I will never stand for bullying but when it comes to bullying others because of an illness that’s when it becomes a big issue. You will never even slightly feel the pain that person goes through, you will never fight their battle, or understand the struggle and it WILL NEVER be okay for you to put someone down because you haven’t even begun to understand. Quite honestly if you’ve ever judged, stared, laughed at, or bullied someone because they are different or have an illness you should be ashamed. I know I’m just a human like you and we all make mistakes but this is a mistake that effects someone in ways you won’t ever know, and could potentially even push that person over the edge. it’s never anyones choice to have an invisible illness so why should it ever be your place to judge them? I’m a huge advocate for awareness and support and always will be. We live in a world where technology is at it’s highest it’s ever been and it’s easier now than it ever has been to bully someone. You can send a text, comment on a picture, and even do it anonymously in a way that person will never know who you are. We live in a world where people are judged everyday for their differences but do you realize that if you and I weren’t different from each other we would all be the same? I find “flawless” to be such an ugly word. What makes you the judge of what is and isn’t flawless? We are gifted with uniqueness; something we should embrace each other for, not judge.What defines Beautiful? What defines Perfect? People who are insecure turn to bullying, People who seek attention, People who want to be noticed. By not feeding them attention or by complimenting them we do in fact kick or rid that negativity. By fighting back with them the tension grows and they realize they’ve gotten to you and only continue to do so. What if we compliment those people instead? What if we change the negativity to positivity, we don’t fight back with nasty words, or harsh judgements but we fire back with love. When you learn to love yourself and accept that people judge because they don’t understand, or are jealous that is when we in fact become happy. When we rid ourselves from being affected by negative words. Might I remind you that a word is a word it’s something spoken, a couple of letters but that word will never amount to anything. That word doesn’t define you, that word doesn’t mean a thing. Just like an illness when we learn to accept it we become these beautiful, these strong, powerful people full of opportunities. By embracing the negativity and changing it into positivity we begin to see a life of opportunity. However when we take those negative words, those stupid letters spoken to heart we stoop to this level of such negative self worth. We begin to believe what is said and the beauty in us begins to fade. The most beautiful part of us is uniqueness. What a boring world this would be if we were all the same. Learn to love yourself and embrace the beauty which does indeed lie in you.