.anything two-wheels, travel, food, beauty, fashion and my personal musings.
I have been fighting an invisible enemy for the last 19 years. This enemy is also known as an autoimmune disease, briefly as Systemmic Vasculitis.
An autoimmune disease basically arises when one’s immune system responds abnormally to substances and tissues present in one’s body. Vasculitis refers to the inflammation of bloody vessels. Some of the diseases associated with Vasculitis include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, tumors, leukemia and lymphoma.
In recent years, it is estimated that autoimmune diseases rank among the ten leading causes of death among women in all age groups up to 65 years. (Ref: Noel R. Rose and Ian R. MacKay, “The Autoimmune Diseases” fourth edition)
Sadly, Vasculitis is a painful, life-long disease with no cure. By and large, most autoimmune conditions are treated with immunosuppressive drugs that have severe side effects including hypertension, heart disease, and sterility. My condition manifests with skin ulcers mainly on my lower limbs measuring up to 5cm, which render me quite immobile, at times. The last 82 weeks have been a very trying time for me where I have suffered the worst relapse in my 19 years as an autoimmune disease patient. I have had to stop all physical activity including running. I have even had to stop wearing shoes because of my relapse.
Which explains why I finally decided to challenge distract myself by starting a blog and reviewing beauty products and what-not.
And, because of that, I have been reading more blogs lately and have noticed quite polarising comments posted on said videos, reviews and blog entries.
It is so easy to be critical and to critique a person’s blog post. After all, we are all critics.
In today’s world, we can respond so quickly via social media, hiding behind technology, totally anonymous, typing out a response with absolute disregard of its ripple effect especially when we respond in a manner that is unkind and might I be daring enough to say, unnecessary. The same is said of irresponsibly blogging, posting rude posts that lash out at society just because we need to “get it out of our system”. Unfortunately, cyberspace isn’t just an anonymous space we can dump our ‘crap’ as we please. There is still a certain level of responsibility involved in whatever that is posted.
And I reckon, receiving such rude and critical comments is akin to fighting an invisible enemy. It is like huge skin ulcers plaguing one’s lower limbs, rendering one immobile momentarily. It hits you like a moving train and in that moment, you are shell-shocked and stunned, immobile with seething, indescribable and unspeakable emotions.
Then, come the entire slew of reactions.
I was once the victim of such comments. I posted a blog entry about a riot that took place in Little India last December, penning my thoughts from the viewpoint of a trooper’s wife. Not a trooper. But his wife. While some reactions were encouraging, others weren’t. Naturally, views of onlookers were polarising. I didn’t know how to react to the comments, I chose instead, not to respond directly.
It reminds me of how some years ago, I read, with much interest, a local blogger’s flaming blog entry against those who had posted nasty comments on her blog. Her very controversial blogpost reaction in which she embarrassed people (who had posted nasty comments on her blog entries) with photoshopped images and rude captions, skyrocketed her local popularity, even the local newspapers picked up on it and ran a feature story on it.
Perhaps, sometimes, we should first ask ourselves if we would be so daring as to put ourselves out there, creating original content and posting blog posts and videos expressing our viewpoints; to be criticised as these Youtubers and bloggers have. A lot of time, effort and money is spent researching, purchasing and using the products/ services which are being reviewed. While each of us has a different standard of what is good and bad, isn’t that what makes for variety in blogs and videos? Why else would anyone want to read or watch a review if everyone expresses the same opinion?
In the past couple of years, I have benefitted from many such reviews posted on social media platforms including TripAdvisor, Youtube and blogs. I have “researched” these reviews before purchasing designer bags, expensive lifestyle products, or ventured out to try restaurants, hotels and all.
Maybe, sometimes, before we put out a reactive comment, we should ask ourselves to what benefit would that be in being constructive. Instead of leading to or being a cause of “death” much like how Vasculitis kills slowly but surely, perhaps we should be kinder and respond in a more constructive manner, promoting positivity? I bet the world would be a better place if more of us were positive.
Perhaps I am too naive to think this.
Perhaps I look at life from behind rose-tinted glasses.
Perhaps, this positivity has been the only thing that has kept me going these 19 years, with no respite, cure or hope of.
Just perhaps, that is one of the keys to being happy.