How reading chronic illness blogs helps me navigate life with chronic illness
Living with a chronic illness can feel isolating. How many people do you know who even have a chronic illness? Our daily challenges are unique, and it can be difficult to find someone who really understands.. Even when it comes to positive changes, I find that friends and family can have a difficult time relating to the treatments or lifestyle changes that I’ve made in order to improve my health and well-being. For example, starting a meditation practice or taking supplements was considered equivalent to fraudulent ‘snake-oil treatments’ by some of my more skeptical relatives. Even more broadly, living with chronic illness changes your perspective on life and your priorities. While you might see working towards acceptance as part of healing, other people around you might see it as ‘giving up’ on getting better. For all of these reasons, it can be difficult to find your way through the realities of life with a chronic illness
This is where the community of chronic illness bloggers comes in. Reading about shared experiences can help reduce that sense of isolation –– knowing other people out there can relate to what you are going through. Chronic illness blogs can help to suggest treatments or self-care strategies, which is important given the lack of research, medical treatments or adequate pain management supports out there. Most importantly, chronic illness blogs can inspire their readers with the wisdom of experience and the power of insight.
Here, I wanted to share a few of the inspiring posts I read this spring about navigating real life with chronic illness:
Inspiring blog posts from Spring, 2017
- What does healing mean when you have a chronic condition? Sarah from the Pain Companion shares an insightful, inspiring post on understanding healing as a holistic, lifelong journey. In her post “Will I Ever Heal from Chronic Pain?” she writes that healing “is the process by which we create a new relationship with our bodies, our emotions, our minds, and our spirits as demanded by some crisis in life.”
- A beautiful, uplifting poem called “You Are Miracle” by Thuli Zuma shared by Sheryl over at Chronic Voice. A snippet of my favourite verse:
You are miracle.
You are harmony.
You are 90 trillion cells weaving new tapestry.
Each one testifies to the mystery
That even on the worst day
Even at your worst
You are still your best
You are miracle
- The Beauty of the Story Your Life Is Telling by Stacey from Chronically Whole An inspiring take on the narrative of being a person living with chronic illness. My favourite lines: “Some may say it’s telling a story of failing by not getting better faster [but]… Let your life keep telling the story of adapting, overcoming, loving in spite of loss, being unafraid to face the uncertain future head on…”
- What can fairy tales teach us about living with chronic illness? That we have to be our own heroes, for one. Rhiann, from My Brain Lesion and Me, writes: “My experience of living with a permanent neurological condition has also taught me that we all have the power to rescue ourselves from our own battles in whatever form that they take.” Read more at Life is Anything But a Fairy Tale.
- Identity and chronic illness is such a complicated topic. Many of us lost core aspects of how we identifed ourselves after developing a chronic illness. Career is often one of those casualties. So how do you construct a new identity for yourself beyond being someone living with a chronic illness? Jenny from Tips for M.E. shares her thoughts on important issue in her post Ascribed and Chosen Identities in Chronic Illness.