Benefit payments for fibromyalgia

In 2023, I was lucky enough to finally manage to claim Personal Independence Payment, Limited Work Capability and successfully receive a blue badge. This was a huge weight off my shoulders because it meant I could bring some extra income into the house, without exacerbating my fibromyalgia, and the blue badge means that travelling places is so much easier! It also meant that I felt like my experience of fibromyalgia and my hidden disability was validated. However, this is the curse of a hidden disability like fibromyalgia – no one, especially strangers, can see that you are disabled. No one can see that you need to park near to the store because, if you don’t, the trip round the supermarket could leave you sofa ridden for the rest of the day. No one can see that your house is a mess because you are in such pain. No one can see beyond the smile.

You are trying your best

Perceptions

The reason I wanted to write this post today is that, just recently, I have found some people silently or verbally judgemental of me and my hidden disability. Like I explained in the previous paragraph, I am very lucky to have received a blue badge which has helped me enormously, especially whilst I have all this abscess problem going on. Now, no one has ever said anything out loud to me when I have parked in a disabled space but I can sense and see the judgements on people’s faces as soon as I step out of the car. Yes, I am wearing nice clothes and shoes and have a smile on my face and yes I have a child with me but please don’t check in my front windscreen to see if I actually have a badge! Outward perceptions can be so deceiving to what is actually going on inside and no I haven’t mistaken this for a parent and child space! Let’s all remember that we never truly know what is going on with someone and whether they are suffering with a mental illness or a hidden disability.

in pain

Judgements

As most of my followers know, I am also a very active sewer and like to post about my creations on my social media and on groups I am in on social media. Most of the time, people are so lovely! I’ve had gorgeous comments about my smile, my creativity and my flare. However, one particular comment stands out to me whereby I posted a picture of a skirt I had just made and took the picture before we were going out for a walk as a family. In the background was my son’s train track and cars and a few other bits and bobs and someone thought it would be appropriate to suggest I learnt how to make a toybox! This really angered me for lots of reasons. Firstly, my boy was having lots of fun playing with daddy whilst I was finishing my sewing. Secondly, we were just getting ready to go for a nice walk together and thirdly my fibromyalgia means that I can only do the bare minimum of tidying up. This then made me conscious the next time I posted on my social media groups, where I actually apologised for the mess in the background. People do not realise that their words can cut rather deep, especially for those of us with hidden disabilities who are battling these demons every day and wish they could tidy up more and have a more presentable house.

the curse of a hidden disability

Mummy the Fibro Warrior Top Tip:

  1. It’s a classic saying but a good one! Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. You never know what is going on underneath someone’s smile.
you are enough

If there is one takeaway I’d like you all to remember today is that you don’t owe anyone an explanation for your hidden disability. Keep being unapologetically you. I need you to know you are doing the best you can, your child/children love you just as you are and you are Mummy the Fibro Warrior!

Until next time,

x

p.s. Why not spread this message with someone who you think needs to hear this today? Sharing is caring after all 🙂

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