I have been part of an online group called “Chronic Illness Bloggers” for a little more than a year now, which I enjoy participating in. There are no political dramas or bitter comparisons, just a group of caring and lovely people. I have an inherent dislike for any sort of networking activities in real life, so online support groups are perfect for me.
Why I Prefer Online Support Groups
- I can delve into more hard, research-based resources that others took the time to compile.
- I can give or get support even when I’m sick in bed, at any time of day!
- I can connect with just about anyone with any type of disease in the world. In fact, I don’t personally know anyone with Lupus who’s my age in Singapore.
- I can find like-minded people with more ease. Unlike what you may imagine, there are toxic groups of people within support groups as well. They spread misinformation, are self-entitled, or let their ego be in charge of their pain. They drain my limited energy, so I avoid them like the plague.
- There are quite a number of talented spoonies out there, and I get to collaborate with them!
Of course there are benefits to physical support groups as well that online ones can never replace. Everything online is still behind a barrier of virtual reality, at the end of the day.
Why I Created an Online Support Group for Singaporeans & Asians
I set up a Facebook group called “Singapore & Asia Chronic Illness Community“, with the intention of reaching out to people with chronic illnesses here. Having ran my blog for 1.5 years, I have come to notice that a lot of the online support and awareness is based in the U.S. and U.K.. The voices from the Asian communities are quiet, at best.
Perhaps it is a reflection of our culture, which isn’t necessarily a flaw. I also struggle to reconcile certain Western viewpoints from time to time. Either I disagree or am not bothered by certain topics, or feel left out. Many amazing treatments in these countries are unavailable in Singapore as well, as we’re pretty kiasu and wait for the rest of the world to adopt them first. While I stick mostly to Western medicine due to the complications of my blood clotting disorder, alternative therapies are more respected and accepted in Asia as well. All these cultural points and different methods of governance leave a gap between those with chronic illnesses around the world. We don’t have disability support in Singapore, but access to healthcare is still decent.
I would like to help bridge this gap by providing a space space for us to express ourselves, and to be heard as a collective voice. Let’s build up a community of human beings and resources together. Singapore isn’t a big country, and there aren’t that many of us out there (or maybe we’re all just hidden in plain sight!). Imagine the possibilities we can open up together, for better healthcare and awareness within our own society. Come join us here today: Singapore & Asia Chronic Illness Community
If you liked this article, sign up for our mailing list here so you don’t miss out on our latest posts!