*Note: I wrote this article when I first started this blog. Reading it three years later simply reminds me of why I need to continue writing. If you’re a chronic illness blogger yourself, I hope that this inspires you to carry on. If you’ve been meaning to share your story, I hope that this gives you that small nudge you might have needed 🙂
The Truth is
Revealing so much about my private life makes me very uncomfortable. I often hesitate for weeks before hitting the publish button. What business is it of a stranger to have a piece of my life? Why would anyone care about my problems, when they have their own? I also fear projecting the wrong image; I am not looking for attention, pity or aid (well more aid from the government would be nice ;)).
A Revelation of Vulnerabilities
To provide insight into life with chronic illnesses is to put all your vulnerabilities on public display. It goes beyond your closest circle of friends and family, to grant strangers access to your personal space. It means showing them the fragments of a broken body, and the ugly wounds that will never heal. It means revealing just how non-independent you are, and how much help you actually need to ‘adult’. This might become a consideration or ‘liability’ for a wide scope of activities, from selection as an employee to travel buddy.
Writing forces you to come face to face with the subject at hand, scouring it in search for its essence. You milk it for all it’s worth and package it. You offer it to all passersby for free, in hope that they will take a sip towards understanding.
Blogging about ill health is to set a public alarm clock that reminds everyone of your infirmities, and in turn, theirs. I do notice that people around me are paying more attention to how I am feeling, and I am grateful for that. Yet at the same time it makes me sad that I’m viewed in a light that I wish could be brighter.
If Not Us, Then Who?
Despite all these (maybe silly) concerns, I feel that it is an important job. It is something only I and others like me can do, and there aren’t that many of us out there. If not us, then who?
Many good people suffer too; disease does not pick and choose, and can strike on a whim. I write to provoke thought on our humanity, and with that, the need we have for each other in this world. Who else can you turn to, should you be dealt with such a card in life? I hope to contribute to this community that feels like family, and strengthen the safety net to catch those who might fall next. We understand pain and just how bad it can be.
We need to write to raise awareness on silent disabilities. There are too many ‘normal’ looking people who are suffering from circumstances beyond their control to ignore. We need to write in a bid to forge a more harmonious society. We need to serve as living reminders that we are all the same deep inside. We need to write to encourage thought and empathy for everyone around us, and to learn to make less ignorant judgments.
I need to write because I can. Because some of those like me cannot, and are unable to express their pain. I write so that loved ones who want to understand can begin to understand. I write in hope for a better world to live in, for the healthy and ill alike. Utopia might be impossible to achieve as a constant or final state, but even a glimpse of it can change the world. And guess what? This power is inherent in you and me.
*This article is meant for educational purposes and is based on the author’s personal experiences. Always be sure to check with your doctor before you start on any new treatment or protocol.
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- For More Insight:
- Wisdom in the Age of Information and the Importance of Storytelling in Making Sense of the World: An Animated Essay (brainpickings.org): https://is.gd/UovZvS
- One Book Which Changed My Life Forever (medium.com): https://goo.gl/a5HP3C
- Rules for Making Fun of Mental Illness (psychologytoday.com): https://goo.gl/AmSkfL
- What My Godfather’s Glass Eye Taught Me About Disability Humor (catapult.co): https://goo.gl/GfzvMS