• Whitney West

My Lived Experience is Worthwhile

I mentioned this on Instagram recently and in one of my accountability groups that it has seem to be a lot more comfortable for me to express what I know in my learned experience verses my lived experience. And this is learned experience in terms of education; learned experience about what I know at work. I am very confident in what I know there and it's pretty much almost like unshakable. Obviously I know I don't know everything but I know what I know, and I know enough about it. However that does not necessarily translate for me over to my lived experience. However I know that my lived experience can be just as powerful, fruitful and helpful as what I've learned through education and through the job.


So along with my goal to be disciplined this year decided that being very transparent with my lived experience and offering more in that area is something that I am going to do this year.



So what I mean by lived experience is essentially the things that I've been through and gone through, and walking through and have walked through in my life. One of the major things is obviously is dealing with a chronic illness, dealing with being disabled, dealing with going through life while dealing with those things, as well as the additions to your life when you have a chronic illness and disability, and also dealing with having a physical representation of those things by wearing the oxygen.


So these are things that I've gone through, and I don't know why getting through them and trying to make the best of them to me hasn't always seemed worthwhile or worth sharing. I've just been trying to work through that because I do see the value in sharing because as I try to look up information about my illness and other, it's not always there.

However, I know there are those like me who need the stories and who need the help.



There are several types of things that I plan to share, but I have not been confident in this lived experience, but I do realize that this is a lived experience that is meaningful, this is a lived experience that is worthwhile, it is worthy, and it needs to be spoken.


I am going to honor what my life has led me through as a lived experience, just as much as I honor what I have been privileged enough to learn.

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