Sorry not sorry

Another Awareness Month?!

I’ve read a few posts lately, bemoaning Down’s Syndrome Awareness month.

People seem to be jaded with it. Bored almost of sharing posts and information.

The amount of whinging on social media about the Lots of Socks event makes me feel depressed.

COME ON PEOPLE!

This is our chance.

Our time.

Now you all know I share lots of things about Down’s syndrome. I want to educate people and in turn I am also educating myself.

I didn’t know about Down’s syndrome when Evie was born. I had no idea.

Neither did my family and to be quite frank, some of my supposed family still don’t give a toss. If they read this then maybe they’ll stop using the terms “retard”, “special”, “mong” and “spesh”- because quite frankly I’m just about done with them.

I digress.

Those that do care read my posts, talk to me and they share with me.

I see it about all awareness events not just DS related. I know there are lots of awareness events and months, weeks and days. I know it seems like everyone posts on social media about the latest one but those of you that moan or roll your eyes, yes I’m talking directly to you now, don’t you get it?

That person who you used to go to school with, the one who has just shared a post about baby loss awareness week may have just had a miscarriage. Their sister may have died in infancy. This may be the first time that they’ve ever built up the nerve to post. You have absolutely no idea what bravery that could have taken.

That person who shares about cancer. Yes, you may be sick of reading about it, I mean what’s another cancer death. I know your timeline is filled with sad stories. But maybe that person has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Maybe that person’s mum had the most god awful painful death from the most evil of diseases. Maybe that person is traumatised and wants to help raise awareness in any way possible.

And you know that person who has just posted yet another post about transplantation, and being on the organ donor register? Maybe they are waiting for their kidney transplant. Maybe their life is so restricted by the illness that putting up posts on social media is all they can do. Maybe their aunt died in agony because no heart and lungs became available for her. Maybe they think if their posts get one more person to sign up on the organ donation register, then it’s worth a share.

And that person who’s shared about it being Mental Health Awareness Month. Maybe they suffer from anxiety and depression. Maybe you don’t know this. Maybe pressing share on that story was their first big step in acknowledging that they needed help. Maybe they have taken anti-depressants for the last ten years of their lives.

You think you know your friends? You don’t.

So to all of you negative miserable Hilda’s and Tim’s, before you start to moan, think.

Before you criticise, look at the alternative. Yes, in an ideal world we wouldn’t need to share about Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy or cancer. But we do. People don’t know about everything. We can all learn. And isn’t it freeing to be able to celebrate our families and to remember them? To be able to try to help others?

I know if it weren’t for Down’s syndrome awareness month and Lots of Socks Day on World Down’s Syndrome Day (21st March for anyone wondering) then I wouldn’t feel as able to share openly with my friends. In turn I know that they wouldn’t know as much about Down’s syndrome if it weren’t for my posts and shares, my photos and blog posts. When people share their sock photos with me I feel such pride. Pride in my friends, pride in my family that do, pride of my gorgeous daughter and her awesome extra chromosome and an absolute gratitude of the wonderful Down’s syndrome community.

I know if it weren’t for Baby Loss Awareness Month and in particular the International Wave of Light (15th October at 7pm), then I wouldn’t feel as connected with so many bereaved families at exactly the same time. And I wouldn’t feel such connection with my friends when they light a candle in memory of our precious son. Those that do warm my heart and make me cry.

So negative Hilda’s and Tim’s..wind your necks in. Think a bit. Show some compassion. You never quite know what those posts you roll your eyes at may achieve.

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