Shades of Sleep


Joined March 2011

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© Sarah Allegra

Sometimes I get a little daunted when May 12th rolls around each year, wondering what new I can say about the subject. If you didn’t know, May 12th is Invisible Illness Day; a day to bring attention and awareness to illnesses and diseases which don’t manifest obvious outward symptoms for the world to see. When you tell people you’re sick, they expect to be able to tell just by looking at you. If you have an invisible illness, like myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME for short), like I do, or any of the countless others, it throws people off. They don’t know weather to believe you or not. But that belief is imperative. ME, like many other invisible illnesses, can be fatal.

This year I REALLY pushed the limits of my crappy energy supply to create not only a set of three new self portraits for my Enchanted Sleep series on living with ME (, but I created a complicated, high-fashion, all-blue makeup look, three videos (two of which are currently up on YouTube as of the writing of this) and a challenge to issue to all of you: I want you to go blue for ME!

Why blue? That’s our awareness ribbon color.

How do you go blue? There are so many ways! You could do an all-blue makeup look, like I’ve done in this video! You could dye your hair or paint your nails blue. I made ME-awareness profile images (which are on my blog) that you could use on your Facebook account for a day. Dress all in blue, snap a photo and hashtag it with #GoBlue4ME! The ideas are endless!

ME is a terrible, debilitating disease with no cure and no treatments and it can be terminal. So few people even know it exists and we’re given extremely little funding for research; about the same amount as is devoted to studying hayfever.

This is something we need to change! We need to be loud and demand better research and treatment for ME patients! We need ME and other neglected invisible illnesses to be taken as seriously as they actually are. And we can do that. By making our voices heard, we can bring real change to the world!

Read more about these self portraits, May 12th and the #GoBlue4ME challenge here:

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