Sunday, 8 May 2016
I don't make a point of talking about being ill on my blogs. Though I don't go out of my way to hide it either. I reference it occasionally, usually when explaining a long absence from blogging! I've had it in my mind for a while (since last year or perhaps even before then) to make more of a regular thing of blogging about what it's really like living with a chronic illness. It's not like it's a big part of my life, it's my entire life (and has been for almost 14 years) and dictates everything I do (or rather don't). There's several reasons why I haven't spoken about it in-depth before. The main one being not wanting to come across as a moaner or to talk negatively. My blogs are my "happy place", they keep me going and I'm a firm believer in emotions being contagious (even through reading) and I'd really hate for this blog to be a depressing read or have you go away feeling sad and thus liable to avoid my blog forever more! The last thing I'd want is to alienate readers or drive you away when you've likely come for shiny shoes! I've realised recently that despite what I'm going through, I'm quite a positive person, so it wouldn't really be a fair representation of me if it was all doom and gloom (though my everyday life generally is if I'm forced to think about it). Certainly when it comes to blogging, I try to be chirpy and positive and when I'm talking about things I love (hello shoes!) it's not difficult. I let the words flow the way they would in real life (if I were talking to a friend), the result naturally being enthusiastic and upbeat. So it's out of my comfort zone to write a post that doesn't have either a happy conclusion, something constructive or even a lesson to be learned.
Lately I've become more aware of the way I do things and why I do them that way (more on that another day), so perhaps my way of coping with being ill, is by not dwelling on it or thinking about it too much. However, I can't help but feel like I have this platform and am perhaps doing a disservice to other chronically ill people, by not using it. Whether that's sharing similar views with others going through the same thing, spreading awareness to those that don't know what it's like or discussing differences in the illness (because it's one of those that varies a lot from person to person). I constantly play down the struggles I'm going through, but I'm recognising this now and even forced myself not to begin this post with an apology for not blogging for a few weeks! I have to stop making excuses, stop apologising for being ill and stop feeling bad for not managing to keep up the workload of a "normal" person. I'm not normal, I'm ill! That in itself is an injustice to fellow sufferers and it's not fair to me either. I also realise it's how some of you found me on social media or this blog and then what do I do? I don't talk about it! That's not right.
So, I'm starting a new feature called "M.E. On..." (see what I did there?) and whichever subject matter I feel like discussing. I'm going to be completely honest and sometimes there won't be a happy round-off, but life isn't perfect, bad stuff happens and there's no use pretending otherwise. There will still hopefully be time for shoes and makeup and the fancy, fluffy stuff, but interspersed with the serious bits for a more authentic or realistic reflection of what's really going on in my world. I realise it might not be as 'popular' or appealing as the other stuff, but it's important to me. How can I expect others to understand what I'm going through, if I don't discuss it or gloss over it? Let me know what you think, though like I say, it's something I'm wanting to do regardless. Each time, I'm happy to answer any questions you may have in the comments below or use them as a discussion topic next time, if it's worth highlighting for everyone.