Thursday, 10 August 2017

Influential people in the IBD community

I wanted to talk a little about ‘influencers’, and the power they have on those around them.

Influencers are everywhere, in every industry and every community. These are the people, or the companies or the news sources that others look to for reliable insights and advice. They are the ones that have a large amount of INFLUENCE.
For example, if you are an active member of the IBD community then you will know certain charities, and people such as Blake Beckford and Zoey Wright. These are people who have made an impact, and are known for having IBD and overcoming many of the hurdles that IBD throws at them. 

Please don’t misunderstand what I am going to say next, it is not meant in a negative way and I am extremely proud of both Blake and Zoey for showing sufferers that IBD is not the end of the world and does not stop you achieving your goals. It’s great that these guys have helped bring awareness to IBD and ostomies, BUT, whilst they are inspiring, I often find myself thinking...
“How are they doing that? Am I not strong enough? Is my will too weak?”

Rather than being inspired, I find that I am chastising myself for not being able to do what they are doing. "Am I just not trying hard enough?"

The simple fact is, I cannot do what they do. I do not have the physical strength or the mental capacity to even motivate myself. Plus, whilst some are trying to raise awareness of how hard it is to live with, many onlookers fail to understand that IBD affects people very differently, and assume that those that are not capable of working and even walking sometimes, are just downright lazy, because someone else is managing to do so much better. 

The biggest issue I have is that the people who feature in the media because they have a good story, aren’t always the most knowledgeable people. Then incorrect information is uploaded online for anyone to find, or printed in a paper which can’t be amended. 

Then there are those with 'celebrity status'. The amount of times there has been uproar in the community, thanks to ‘wise words’ from Sam Faiers when she has yet again mentioned being cured, or worse still, is providing links to doctors who will provide a herbal range to “cure you too” is beyond a joke. 

Just because someone can influence you, does not mean they should. Before taking someone else's word as gospel, please do check your facts on a reliable source. We live in a world where information is literally your finger tips. You only have to look for it.


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