Monday, April 7, 2014

Why I Write #HAWMC

I started writing three years ago because I was stuck. I knew that in order to learn how to live with my chronic illness, I was going to have to make peace with it. But in order to make peace with it, I would have to learn how to see the positives in what was happening to me. I tried searching around on the web, and didn't have much luck. I was confronted by either sugar-coated nonsense or told me how bad it was, but then didn't tell me what I could do about it. I don't think many people knew what to do about it. No one I knew had a clue what I should do besides find some miraculous way to get better. Barring that, they had no thoughts on how I should get through in the meantime.

My mother always taught me that if I wanted to learn how to do something, I should try teaching it to someone else. That had always worked for me in the past, so I decided to start writing on what I would say to someone who was just starting on this journey of chronic illness, and what I wish I'd been told early on. That turned into how I could think about my illness and my situation in a positive light. That got me thinking about how everyone always says, "I know I don't look sick, but I am!" I thought, why not turn that around? "Of course I don't look sick. I make chronic illness look awesome!" And that's where I got the name of the blog...

Since then I've been doing what I can to educate folks, especially about some of the things other sites ignore, or don't feel comfortable tackling. I used to think that people weren't answering my question about how to cope with chronic illness because they didn't want to think about having a chronic illness. But that's not it at all. They can't even wrap their heads around "chronic" and "illness" to meet you there. They understand the flu, or possible a broken bone. But they can't understand every day without end. I knew I couldn't, even when I did have a chronic injury that lasted 3 years. But there was still a prospect of getting better when that happened. We just didn't know how.

It's different when your told, "you don't get better from this, you just get it. It may get worse. It may go into remission. We don't know, but it will never not be with you." Normal folks don't know what that means, or what problems it causes, so try as they might, they just can't brainstorm answers well. They may want to help, but don't want to admit they can't even grasp your reality. It's not their fault. They'd help if they understood what we were talking about.

And that's why I kept writing. After figuring all this out I realized that the only way to help others like me is to help others like me.... This is a wonderfully supportive community and we're helping to educate one another as well as the professionals. A lot of what they've thought about trauma, brain studies are now changing the science on (to answers that were intuitive to folks like you and me). I keep writing to help all of us, to spread awareness, give support, and hopefully provide some insights here and there.

I'm proud to help.

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