Our health is very important to us and sometimes we don’t realize how important it is till we feel ill, close to death or a loved one falls ill or dies. It’s important we value and appreciate all that is around us and focus on living our truth, achieving our purpose and making the best out of life.
It takes a certain kind of person to be resilient in the face of illness. When I was told I had noise reducing hearing loss, I felt like my world had come undone. However, as I read more and went for several other appointments, it turned out that my ears were okay as there were no permanent damages but I had to change my lifestyle in order to maintain it. There were no guarantees that the tinnitus would stop but it could be managed. I felt a huge gush of relief as the worst case scenarios I had pictured were not the reality. It doesn’t mean sometimes, I don’t feel fear once in a while of the worst case scenarios but I am doing the needful and focused on faith rather than fear. In those moments of fear, I begin to reflect and realize how important good health is and commend the brave women who are thriving and braving ill health.
When I think of the women who have to fight ill health conditions, I get so emotional and tear up.. No jokes!! To all the women who are thriving and kicking illness in the butts, you’re not alone. We are rooting for you. Keep on keeping on.
Every woman is special in their own way. Below are some women whose stories and journeys have inspired us.
Kryzada was diagnosed with stomach cancer last year, 2017. It was quite heart breaking. I don’t know her personally but I was/am an avid follower of her on social media, she always had something empowering to say or showcase from style, to lifestyle. What amazes me is her resilience. Her ability to push through and do what she loves. She goes for events, works the work and is a sensational source of light, love and hope to other women. She has used her story and her challenges to push through and not back down. We don’t know what happens behind closed doors and there might probably be days of feeling low but we are moved and inspired by this woman’s resilience and faith.
Charleigh is a lifestyle influencer who has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She takes time to often update her audience on her health condition and has shown a lot of strength in spite of how she feels. She also uses her platform to share beauty, style and lifestyle insights. Her vulnerability and courage is captivating and inspiring. A powerful quote by her on her blog – “I may have MS but MS doesn’t have me.”
In December 2017, Solange had to cancel her New Year’s Eve performance in South Africa, announcing that she had been diagnosed with an autonomic disorder and had been dealing with symptoms for the past five months prior to her announcement. In spite of her diagnosis, while taking care of herself, her bravery and courage is phenomenal.
Selena Gomez opened up about her fight with lupus a few years ago. While dealing with this autoimmune disease, she has not backed down from doing what she loves and pursuing her goals. She has had to deal with the many side effects that come with lupus. She recently underwent a kidney transplant. While contending and braving this autoimmune disease, her resilience and grace is such an inspiration.
Bella Hadid was diagnosed with Lyme disease. She has been in and out of the hospital and has shared some of her journey through this with her fans on social media. In spite of this illness, she has become one of the most sought after and successful top models and she is not backing down. In an Instagram post last year, she talked about how she felt emotionally, mentally and physically stronger and appreciated all the support.
Cara Delevigne has been open about how she struggled with depression and being suicidal. She is an advocate for mental health awareness. She opens up about the challenges she faced growing up; her documentation of her journey through various interviews and projects have inspired other women to open up and empowered other women dealing with such challenges.
Lena Dunham is an avid advocate for endometriosis awareness. She has been vocal about it, detailing her experiences with this condition. Due to the painful condition, the 31 year old, decided to have a hysterectomy; she documented her journey with Vogue. In spite of her inability to have kids due to hysterectomy, she has remained positive of the future and continues to be supportive to other women going through endometriosis by creating more awareness.
I am such a huge fan of Toni Braxton and when she was diagnosed with lupus, it was heart breaking. However, she has managed her health and lifestyle and is braving this lifelong autoimmune disease. She keeps doing what she knows how to do best, she has won awards, released albums and she is not backing down. Her resilience and courage truly inspires me and I believe a lot of other women.
She recently celebrated six years of being sober and has opened up about being bipolar as well as dealing with her body image. She is a sensation and inspiration and uses her platform to constantly advocate mental health awareness and lifestyle. She sets a pace in taking responsibility of your life and being authentic.
From a very young age, I had constantly been a scary cat. It took me years to realize it was due to my experiences growing up. There was always a feeling of not being enough and wanting to take on the identity of other people to please them and feel whole. I had become very used to mental, emotional and physical abuse that these experiences became my identity. I always tried to create a picture perfect image for the world to see while I was dying on the inside. I searched for ways to feel complete but kept drowning. Depression and anxiety played a huge role in my life. Growing up, depression was ‘demonized’ in the religious sense and was seen as ‘self-pity’ and weakness. It wasn’t seen as a mental health issue or the symptom of something deeper. I always kept telling myself to be brave and was so hard on myself all the time, it made me sick. From the age of 7, I had contemplated and attempted suicide several times. Moments when I was certain I would commit suicide, my nanny or sister would walk in and then i’ll lie or pretend I was trying to do something else; other times I couldn’t just bring myself to taking my life.
Anxiety sucked. The constant headaches, panic attacks, fatigue, dizziness and so on sometimes for no reason had become a part of my life. I would cover up the inside of me with my loud laughter, my outbursts and temper tantrums. I knew something was wrong and I needed to get to the root but didn’t know how.
When I met my husband (then boyfriend), it didn’t take him long to realize I needed to see someone especially having dealt with something similar. Initially the frantic anxiety and suicidal attempts when heightened made us think I had bipolar. It was later deduced that I suffered from depression, GAD and PTSD.
Though this might be fact; as I do the needful through therapy, practising mindfulness and faith, I still choose to rise above ‘facts’ while healing and growing. I see myself as who I want to be and believe that to be the truth and fact – I am free, happy and healthy. I am not my pain, struggles; I am a warrior and a victor in spite of my pain and struggles. I am healed, I am whole, I am FEARLESS. The journey has not been easy. Some days anxiety is heightened, some days depression makes me shut out the world for weeks but as I realise I have something to live for – my purpose, I push through and I express gratitude for all that I am.
These women are not their diagnosis. They are defying what medical reports have to say and while doing the needful to improve their health; their faith, resilience and courage is powerful. To all women dealing with ill health conditions, you are not alone. You are stronger than you think and you are wonderful.