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By: Tori Wegmann

How would you feel if you couldn't follow many of your passions and hobbies? What if you had to reconsider a career you were excited about? What if when trying to advocate for yourself, you felt like you weren't taken seriously and didn't get the help you needed? What if you can't pay your bills because you can't work and you keep getting denied financial assistance you qualify for? Sounds pretty depressing, right? This is my life.

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Several months after the lockdown started, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. On top of this, I have cysts that rupture on a regular basis. Simply put: I don't know what it's like to live without pain anymore. Looking at me, you probably wouldn't know I'm disabled, and you probably wouldn't be able to tell how much pain I'm in. I carry my pain relatively well, but that doesn't mean I don't need help. I need help. I want to be taken seriously. Life may be agonizing, but I'm trying my best.

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