RAiISE Your Voice is a series of blog posts in which we provide a platform for young people to share their stories and speak up about issues they face whilst living with invisible illnesses and conditions.
Meet Robyn, one of our wonderful RAiISE Trustees who has been living with an invisible illnesses since she was young.
I’m Robyn and I am one of the trustees at RAiISE, I got involved having experienced being judged at school for having an invisible illness. I hope by creating a pack that it will inform and highlight that just because someone looks healthy it doesn’t mean that are, and they shouldn’t be judged for it.
Being involved in RAiISE
Through being involved in RAiISE I have met so many inspirational young people who have not been set back by being judged at school, but all agree it needs to change. I finished High School eight years ago and still there are young people experiencing what I did, that is my motivation to make sure RAiISE impacts on our education system and even further. So that young people do not have to go through what we have, a negative experience in school that can affect our future. I have met children who would rather not attend school because they are scared they will be called a liar and this needs to change.
We need to think as a society what does calling someone ‘lazy’ or ‘slow’ etc effect that person, when there is a genuine reason they may not move as fast or be well enough to take part in an activity. It actually makes that person question are they lazy? are they slow? when it is just a symptom of their illness, this can impact on their mental health leading to other symptoms We need to take more care of ourselves and others and if that is by thinking before we speak, then that little thing that can make a big difference.
Why is RAiISE so important?
RAiISE is important as it gives young people the safe space to voice their opinions and health concerns without the fear of being judged or made to feel bad.
It gives the young person control over something in their life when control has been taken away by their illness or condition.
RAiISE aims to change the way the education system views invisible illnesses to ensure future generations to not have to be prejudged or made to feel any less than a person in full health.
My top tips for a young person with an invisible illness from my experience:
- Take days were you just rest watching films, TV and indulging in your favourite food.
- Speak to your friends, it will always make you feel better.
- Make sure you have/do everything in moderation : Food, social media, exercise and revising.
- Don’t let your illness hold you back! Whether that’s going out with friends or travelling or even going for a job that you think you cant. It can be hard to do this tip but even conquering getting out of bed to go the shops is a win when you’re not feeling your best!
- Travel !!! You learn so much from experiences and visiting other cultures
Below is a picture of me in New York spreading the work about RAiISE!