Write about what blogging means to you. Why do you blog? What purpose does it serve you and how have you benefited from sharing a piece of yourself online this way?
This was one of the ideas for MamaKat’s Writer’s Workshop and it also just happens to work out perfectly for Invisible Illness Week.
I started going online for support in earnest around Christmas of 2004 when I told my family that I was not going to be able to travel out of state to see them this year because I was just took sick. “Um, yeah, okay, don’t you just have Arthritis?” was the reaction I was getting. I had Rheumatoid Arthritis, the two being as alike as an anthill and a mountain. They just didn’t understand and they didn’t believe me, and it really hurt. I started to find places online where there were others like me, especially But You Don’t Look Sick? and it was finally a place where others understood. I took support, and I gave it too.
In 2008 I could no longer work. Does being sick give you creativity or does having more time on your hands free your brain to become more creative? I don’t know the answer to that but I suddenly found myself wanting to write, and I had never written before. Not just about being sick but about being a mom, and my life with my family. I owe it to Jill Asher, one of the founders of the former Silicon Valley Moms Group, who gave me my chance. I submitted some writing samples and I was accepted!
Last year, I finally had the courage and confidence to start this blog. It’s been hard always being able to write since I am sick but I have kept on with it, trying to write about three to four posts a week. What I get from blogging about being a mom with a chronic illness is immeasurable. It is a way to let out my anger and frustrations for myself and to share them with others. It is a way to reach people who are like me. When I get comments from people telling me, “I feel the exact same way” or “You write what I cannot say, thank you!”, it sustains me and motivates me to keep my blog going.
I also write for healthy people. To show them what it is like to be chronically ill. Not just the pain, but the other things chronic illness takes from you; your job, your money, the things you used to love but can no longer do. To show them the challenges I face daily raising my son, and the guilt I feel over things beyond my control. To be a voice that speaks to healthy people and let them know that WE ARE HERE!
And mostly, to show all people, that I am more than my illness. I am a Mother and a Wife and a Friend and a Daughter and I am living my life, maybe a bit differently than you are, but I am alive like you are. I blog to bring the two sides together, so sick people and well people can find some common ground, and realize that we are not so different after all.
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