One of the most important things in life is a person’s health. Recent times have shown how crucial it is to take care of ourselves to prevent our health from deteriorating. But even if people lead a healthy lifestyle and are aware of their habits, there are some diseases that change a person’s life forever and these are chronic diseases.

According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), chronic diseases are “conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both.” Such health problems become a real everyday struggle that can be difficult for others to understand. Having this in mind, a couple who call themselves Chronic Illness Advocates started sharing inspiring messages to educate and encourage people to start a more open discussion about chronic illnesses. 

More Info: Instagram

The Instagram page @how.u.feeling, which has 115k followers, shares pictures of Justin Cypres and Sarah Gausepohl, who pose with a board in their hands stating some powerful words meant for those who struggle with their illnesses and sometimes find it hard to keep moving forward. Some of the things they express are also directed at people who are healthy and don’t necessarily understand what it means to deal with chronic pain. Their thoughts teach these people to be more compassionate and understanding.

Bored Panda contacted Chronic Illness Advocates to find out more about their project. The things that they present on social media come from their everyday struggles as both of them suffer from many chronic illnesses. Justin shared that this is what gave him a spur to create something on his own: “I felt that there was a lack of awareness and positive/educational posts in the social media arena. I thought that I couldn’t be the only one feeling how I felt so I decided to start posting messages about how I felt on any given day.”

This idea and their work soon went viral, proving that people who have to deal with health problems are not alone. Justin told Bored Panda: “ At first I was surprised at how some posts went 'viral' but then, the more I saw it happen, the more I realized how many people suffer.” Justin himself has to deal with a whole bunch of illnesses such as fibromyalgia, ulcerative colitis, migraines, depression, etc.

Coping with these struggles takes a lot of energy and makes people feel like they are all alone in this battle. When such dark days come, Justin says that the right thing to do is to understand that “you are not alone, what you feel is valid, and there are many different social media accounts that can help you find a community that is super supportive of your struggles.” And their project also seems to be having a huge impact on how people see and hear each other, becoming more understanding and sympathetic.

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Chronic Illness Advocates Report

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