Monday, November 3rd, was Color the World Orange Day, or Colour the World Orange Day for those of us outside the USA. I found out about this awareness raising campaign through the Facebook page that was set up, however I don’t know who to thank personally for getting this day happening. I wish I did! Thank you, mystery person.
The premise of the campaign was simple. It aimed to educate people about CRPS through whatever means could be thought up. Some participants set up information tables at community venues, or handed out brochures about CRPS with orange ribbons. Some participants organised get togethers for orange clad supporters. Some participants gave speeches at schools, or told their stories to the media. Some participants convinced local attractions to turn orange in support, including bridge and building lights and even the water in an Aussie fountain. Check out the Color the World Orange page on Facebook for pictures from these events.
My participation this year was very base level. I wore orange. I posted pictures and CRPS facts on social media with the hashtag #CRPSOrangeDay. I encouraged others to join in and paid attention to the hashtagged posts. I connected with other CRPS sufferers and marvelled at how moving it was to look at so many pictures of people wearing orange to support us. It was much more overwhelming than I could have expected. The effect of seeing all of that support at once was inspiring, I can’t wait to see this event get even bigger next year!
You can see all the pictures that I posted throughout the day on Facebook or Instagram.
In the months leading up to November, I really wasn’t sure that I’d be able to participate at all. Spring is the hardest season for my body to cope with and I struggle to simply function enough to stay alive. I didn’t have the energy, or brainpower required for organising an event. A lot of people were preparing for the day by organising orange ribbons or having t-shirts and brochures printed. I would have liked to get involved in those efforts too, however finances have been particularly tight around here this year and there was no wiggle room in my budget, not even for good causes that directly affect me.
Raising awareness of a debilitating illness can be tough when you are also struggling through the pain and ongoing symptoms yourself. I have so much respect for all of the people with CRPS who were able to organise events. I’m also really grateful to the friends and family members who have helped and supported their efforts.
In retrospect, I might have felt less nervous about being able to participate and more excited about the arrival of an awareness day if I had asked my own friends and family for help in advance. I often feel like my very existence bombards them with CRPS awareness overload, however that’s probably just my perception of the situation and my desire to not be a burden, rather than a reality. I think a lot of them would be happy to help me raise awareness for one day of the year if I’d simply thought it would be alright if I asked for help. This is my biggest lesson from the first Colour the World Orange Day and I’ll be working on improving my attitude about asking for help for next year.
It doesn’t hurt to ask, right? I’m not sure when I decided that my CRPS must be bothering the people close to me. Maybe around the time that I got sick of thinking about it myself? Ahhh, projection, you sneaky little so and so.
The best part about CRPS Orange Day is that today, there are more people that are aware of this monstrous disease than there were at the beginning of the month. That’s well and truly worth everybody’s efforts to raise awareness, no matter how big or small.
Click here to view pictures using the #CRPSOrangeDay hashtag on Instagram!
I’ll leave you with this awesome contribution to CRPS awareness from Danielle Stratton:
Love & Lots of Orange,