Today is a shout out day. I want to share some stories of fellow Wanderers and things that keep me inspired. I will mention a few today but I’m planning on more detail in the future. I always try to be inclusive, probably to a fault, so to be clear these will be businesses, blogs, groups, etc. that inspire me. Obviously family and friends support and inspire too and I count some of these people as both and therefore the disclaimer was required. 🙂
Wanderers go by many names. The definitions I’ve found include those who know where they are going but choose to embrace a journey, they are dreamers, music makers, warriors, and conquerors. We all struggle with different trials; anxiety, depression, ED, shame, guilt, physical disease, cancer, infirmities… we all have our battles that we must face. A friend, and family member of mine is one of these conquerors and he has a story to tell.
“My name is Noor, creator and owner of the The Conquer Shop. I am an engineer, a businessman, an outdoors enthusiast, a depression survivor and a Lupus conqueror. We built this site as a way to honor all those who are fighting with diseases such as lupus, cancer, depression, anxiety, ptsd, and any illness which are a consequence of the world we live in.
“You see, I grew up watching my own mother struggle with severe pain for years; every day was a struggle just to move about and get her daily work done. Yet she did. She raised me and brother with a determination that would not die.
“Little did I know that I would also become familiar with chronic illness in my own life.
“My Mom always used to say that someone who has not experienced chronic illness cannot truly understand what it is really like: the daily struggle, the fear of a major attack, the wish to just be free.”
From The Conquer Shop home page:
“Together We Conquer
Our Mission is to stand together and show support in the face of Cancer, Lupus, Depression, Diseases and Adventures of all kinds. You are not alone; together, we Conquer All The Things.
A portion of every sale is donated to St Jude’s Research Hospital to help children fight and overcome their battles with cancer.”
I want you to finish his story so you can see the hope and joy that he has found in conquering. Please follow the links and read his story. Explore the shop and support a fellow Wanderer.
I heard a quote once that I will butcher here (I’ll still put it in quotes though) and if you are who I stole it from feel free to take credit in the comments. “Telling someone who is having a great day that their day can’t be that great because someone else just made a million dollars and someone else just scored their team the winning goal is the equivalent of telling someone who is depressed that other people have it worse so they shouldn’t be sad” with that in mind this next group is amazing and is not shared because I want to show how much worse other people have it or to shame anyone into thinking their service/contribution is inadequate. These are just amazing people doing amazing work. The group is OUR Operation Underground Railroad (Facebook page). They rescue people, particularly children from slavery and many of their operation focus on sex slavery. There was a different group supported by Ashton Kutcher whose video went viral when he testified to congress. This group does similar work at home and abroad. I’ve donated to them in the past and plan to do so in the future.
Another inspiration is one of Bree’s best friends. She started a website called The Tailored Market (Facebook page) to sell women’s clothes. Her goal is to create a place where numbers don’t matter, which is hard with clothes. She shares beautiful stories and embraces everyone who comes with an attitude of acceptance. She shares her own personal stories of her battle with ED and is doing what she can to raise awareness about the way we talk to one another and ourselves regarding our bodies.
The last one I want to talk about is the non profit More Than Shame (Facebook page). Their mission is to try to raise awareness of the debilitating effects of shame, and how its different from guilt. While also promoting ways to combat its effects.
‘Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.’ -Brene Brown
Shame tells us we should suffer in silence, and not bother anyone with our internal struggles. It tells us that if anyone knew what was going on in our lives they couldn’t possibly love us. So we suffer in silence, and we become sicker. It is not until we realize we are MORE than shame, and there are people waiting to accept and help us on our roads to recovery that we can truly heal. My favorite video from this guy/group is called The Silent Epidemic.
Thank you for giving value to my voice. The common thread of this post isn’t Eating Disorders. Only one (maybe two) of the above groups related to body image. The common thread is that they recognize that we are valuable as individuals. We all have value and have an opinion that is uniquely ours. Embrace yours! You are you for a reason. We should make an effort to understand one another. We are all wandering and conquering. The more we help each other the better we will understand our own journey. That sounds like trickery, how would I learn about me from helping somebody else. To which I answer, when we get outside ourselves by helping/serving/supporting others we can look back and see ourselves more clearly. Maybe we see someone struggling, pleading for support. Maybe we see someone who isn’t as flawed as we thought. Maybe we realize in that moment that we can let someone in to help us, like we just helped someone else. I feel like a challenge to perform random acts of kindness is in order. Please go help someone in a small way today, not asking for anything in return, and see if what I’m suggesting works. Or get really brave and ask for the help you need. Good Luck! I will report on mine soon and you should share or comment with yours.