This coming week, September 8th to 14th, is National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week . (I find it hard to remember where the “chronic” goes, and besides, it’s a really long name, so I am going to just refer to it as NICIAW – which I think is pronounced nick-eye-ah-wah.)

NICIAW, despite the “National” in its name, is actually a campaign around the world aiming to bring together people who live with invisible chronic illness, as well as the people who love them. This is my first year participating, and it seems to me that there is a dual purpose: giving those of us who have an invisible chronic illness tools to improve our lives, at the same time as letting us know we’re not alone; and educating others about the impact of living with a chronic illness that can’t be seen.

There is the awareness campaign, and there is also a series of twenty free web-seminars about ways to make life with an invisible chronic illness better. Some of the web-seminars I’m hoping to listen to are:

  • Assess Yourself: Find the Job You Desire and Can Do Despite Illness Limitations;
  • Healthy Boundaries with a Chronic Illness;
  • Overcoming Self-Defeating Behaviours; and
  • Friendships, Dating and Marriage: Can It All Come Together When You Are Young and Chronically Ill?

(For a complete list of free web-seminars, click here.)

There are a ton (well, twenty) of web-seminars to choose from. If you yourself, or someone you love, suffers from an invisible chronic illness, I recommend going to look at the list of web-seminars. Like I said, this is my first year of being involved, so I don’t know how they’ll turn out. However, I have heard of some of the presenters, and I think that they’ll be worthwhile.

And during the week, I’m planning a number of posts about life with an invisible chronic illness. As I’ve mentioned before, I have chronic depression and anxiety; I’ve been on disability benefits since the summer of 2000. My perspective in these posts will, of course, be from my own personal experiences; I can’t presume to speak for anyone else.

I’m looking forward to the week!  I hope you stick around!