30k Blog competition winner: Christalle Bodiford
I struggled for many years to find a supportive group of people with the same illness and limitations as myself. I would search the internet, social media, local groups and video platforms for a connection, only to be consistently disappointed. Every group seemed to be filled with negativity and anger. Most people go through these emotions when newly diagnosed with a disability or chronic illness, but it's not a healthy mentality to keep.
I finally gave up in March of 2017 and decided to create my own virtual community. While building Life Elektrik, I began sharing my story... the story of my journey with Epilepsy. During this time, I shared my story on YOOCAN, which was not only empowering but inspiring! By sharing my story on YOOCAN, I FINALLY became part of a community based on positivity & education. It's so inspiring to see so many amazing stories of accomplishment despite having a disability. This type of community gives me hope that our social view is shifting as a whole into disabilities no longer being seen as weaknesses. After all, we are a strong community of warriors accomplishing our goals and dreams!
Positivity has such an impact on our overall wellbeing & health. In my experience, when I have a negative mentality (We all have bad days.) I feel much worse. My body aches a bit more, I think worst case scenario about things, I have lower self-esteem, I crave junk food, etc. When I choose to keep a positive outlook, I find solutions rather than problems, I feel better about myself, my body feels better, and I crave fruits & veggies. I thought for so many years (before I really embraced my illness) that it didn't really matter if I kept a positive mindset or not. I can genuinely say,"It makes all the difference." Being part of a community that keeps a positive outlook it good for my mental health, and it inspires me to keep a positive mindset. It's so easy to get down when you have daily struggles that you feel most people don't understand. YOOCAN helps me to avoid going down that road.
Not only does it help to keep a positive attitude, but to be educated about my illness. YOOCAN has given me to opportunity to learn about other disabilities and recognize there's less of a difference between myself and others than I thought. We all go through so many struggles with or without a disability, and that line blurs even more seeing the similarities between the different stories and tips. It's really helped me to better understand others and feel even more a part of the community.
My outlook for the future of those with disabilities and chronic illnesses is so bright! YOOCAN is helping to create a shift in a mindset that is no longer helping our society. People with disabilities are just like everyone else, and we can do anything we set our minds to do! I now have hope and a sense of community now, thanks to YOOCAN.
Instagram: @christallepistol & @lifeelektrik