Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Why I Choose To Write About My Health

Living with chronic illness can leave you feeling so alone - you are constantly being pushed pillar to post by doctors, friends and family skirting around you unsure what to say or what to do, symptoms being questioned, and of course not forgetting being examined and tested on left, right and centre!!

In amongst all of this, you are trying to comprehend this condition and the repercussions on your day-to-day life it leaves you questioning..

Yet finding to someone to confide in about your health isn't easy, (let alone choosing to do online!) many of my conditions involve symptoms which are still very "taboo", a broken leg is normal, yet no one knows what to say or how to offer to help when you are in the midst of a life-long condition that affects your autonomic/neurological system, your heart, your blood pressure, your joints, your bowel, bladder, the list forever continues.. 

If someone doesn't understand your illness, there are actually very few that try to, they see someone looking healthy on the outside, and cannot simply comprehend that you are truly "sick". 

For a long time, sharing how it really feels to be unwell and chronically sick,  was like being trapped  in a cage. I was shaking the cage in desperation to get out, before my mental health deteriorated also... After all, if one, or all these conditions will continue throughout my life, I have to open up and not let it completely drown my thoughts. 

For such a long time, I would lie about the extent to which I was unwell, and tried to hide it as much as I could. Yet, I would then get frustrated with those around me, and snap when they were pushing me to eat, cook, walk, carry on, when inside my body was malfunctioning. I didn't want to be seen as the "sick" girl. Though as soon as I was introduced to the blogging world, and more importantly, the "spoonie" blogging world, I realised there are so many of us going through similar things, and the only ones truly able to understand what life is like living with a chronic illness.

Something my neurologist said to me recently which really hit home was "in today's society you are expected to push through if your sick, no one stops and takes time out until it really forces them" it is so true... I fought through my conditions, until it got to the stage where I would require a wake up call, hospitalised and realise, just how much this is not "normal" (whatever that is!)

So, yes I write because it gives me space to no longer bottle my emotions of being chronically ill, I write because those around me do not know what to say or do around me, what my conditions are, and just how sick I really am... because on the outside I don't "look" sick. 

Yet, through this journey, I now also write because others need to know that they are not alone, I write because society expects you to keep pushing on through when you're sick,... because no one has "time" to be sick. 

And most importantly, I write because I hope it will change something, or someone, even just a little bit.

"The Hopeful Chronic"

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