I read this news post this morning.
It’s about a man who was diagnosed with HIV.
Take a moment to think about it.
He also had hemophilia, a disorder that made him bleed and bruise much more than it should.
A home treatment of simple injection of blood was the solution.
But unfortunately that blood was contaminated with the HIV virus.
For years and years this young man wanted to speak about it with his friends and teachers, but his parents advised him not to.
My mum is a diabetic.
Whenever I tell this to anyone, the usual answer I’d get “Yes, overweight people risk that chance”.
While this is true, it’s a very easy judgement.
It’s less common, but my my mum has Diabetes Type 1 which is caused by a malfunctioning in her body, NOT her weight.
FYI, she looks pretty bomb for a woman her age!
It’s never easy telling someone about your disease.
They might make the incorrect judgement.
They might give you a special treatment because they feel pity for you.
They might even joke about it.
Recently, during a business trip, I went for a drink with colleagues I usually don’t work with.
One of the girls showed her photographic artwork.
It was nice but also scary and intense.
She was very open about her time of depression and suicidal thoughts and acts.
Everyone listened to her with great respect and understanding.
Later, only me and one other remained.
“You seemed a bit overwhelmed by her story. I’ve heard it before so I have gotten used to it”, he said.
Since he sounded genuinely concerned, I told him I have my mental health struggles.
I explained him a bit about OCD and my obsession with numbers.
He asked questions which made me believe he was interested.
We walked back to the hotel and got into the life.
Then he did something extremely unexpected.
He pressed the buttons with the number I earlier explained that bother me.
He laughed. “Just joking”.
I got out.
“You know what, taking the stairs is probably healthier” I said and dragged myself to the 9th floor.
How do you feel about opening up about your illness to others?