By Anna Redshaw in her M.E. Myself and I Blog.
In my experience it can be difficult to get non-sufferers to properly engage with M.E. advocacy efforts. There can be many reasons for this. Perhaps they find it upsetting to think of the depths of their loved one’s suffering. Or they don’t have M.E. themselves so can feel too far removed from it all. Sadly, for some, it’s a case of “I’m Alright Jack” where they feel they don’t need to get behind our cause because their life is perfectly fine thank you. Whatever the reason, they may not seem as fully invested in our cause as we are.
This can be sad and frustrating and hurtful for us as sufferers. Our lives have been turned upside down by this illness and so it can feel like a slight, when those around us don’t fully engage with blog posts or our petitions or with choosing an M.E. charity for their own sponsored event.
This is where the tea party really helps me. It’s been a way to involve the people around me, who do not experience M.E. first hand. Rather than feeling rejected that they don’t read the latest articles on the latest research into M.E, for example, I invite them along. I’ve found offering tea and cake is a very good way to persuade people to get behind the cause. A really good way! The tea and cake is what brings us all together and ultimately what gets people through the door!
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