Three years ago, I shared the story of why I started this blog (which had a different name back then). Today, I thought I’d share more on why I continue to write about my health online. I was actually inspired to write about this after being tagged in an Instagram post by Lisa Walters.
In the Instagram post I was tagged in, Lisa shared a beautifully written poem and discussed the reasons why she shares her story online in the caption. Plus, she also explained why she is thankful for others who do the same.
It got me thinking about the reasons why I write about my health online. Because I’ll be honest. Sometimes it feels scary and vulnerable to be writing about something so personal. Especially right now as I go through healing and recovery after stem cells.
And, I guess, there will be people out there who just don’t get why I do it.
I’ll admit that, for a long time, part of me felt uncomfortable with being so open on my blog. I squirmed at the thought of people I knew reading my blog. More because I never really spoke about what I wrote in person (other than to a select few). And, I never really wanted to either.
Years later and I’m way past that now. I couldn’t really care who reads my blog these days. I do still sometimes worry about writing so openly (as I don’t always know how it will be received).
But, I came to realise something. The reasons why I share and write online are far more important than worrying about what people may think of me.
You see, blogs have played an important role in my own life with chronic illness. Reading about the struggles other people have faced, what has helped them and how they’ve learned to adapt and cope… it all helped me in various ways.
At times, I’ve been given the encouragement and hope to keep going. To keep looking for answers and to believe that things can improve. Equally, at other times, I’ve had the reassurance that it’s okay to find peace with where I am at and that I don’t always have to be trying so hard.
There have even been times where I’ve struggled to understand or find the words to explain exactly how I am feeling. Then, I’ll read a post from someone else who has summed it up far better than I ever could. With that, there comes the relief that I am not alone in my experience. That someone else is right there with me.
I can’t even begin to describe the strength I can gain from knowing that. Life with chronic illness can be worrying and uncertain at times. Simply knowing you aren’t alone can mean so much.
I, therefore, have to say that I am truly grateful to those who share their experiences online. There is a beauty in doing so with such vulnerability. We all have our own unique story but, within that, there are similarities and shared experiences that tie us together.
My hope is that adding my voice to the narrative may help someone else in the way that others have helped me.
I don’t for a second believe that everyone will walk the same path as me, or that what I find beneficial will necessarily help someone else. I completely understand that we are all individual. Even if we share the same diagnoses, our stories may be completely different.
However, if even one person gains something from reading what I’ve written. That means everything. And, at the very least, I do hope that sharing my story unites us in some way and that you feel less alone from reading my words.
Beyond this, I also hope that writing in the way I do helps to bring awareness towards the diagnoses I live with. There is so much misunderstanding and ignorance of how devastating Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease and CFS can be. So, I hope that in a small way I am shedding some light onto the struggles many of us face.
And, finally, from a selfish perspective writing helps me on many levels. I find writing to be so cathartic. It helps me to process my thoughts, work through things and gain a different perspective.
I also find it helpful to look back at what I’ve written. To remind myself of where I’ve come from compared to where I’m at in the present moment. This can give me much-needed clarity sometimes.
Do you share your story online; either through blogging or social media? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic and whether you think it’s always a positive thing? Or do you have any concerns that stop you from writing about your health online? Let me know in the comments below.
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