It would be an exaggeration to say that blogging has changed my life. But it’s certainly made a difference. For some reason, having an audience makes writing a little bit more motivating than scribbling in a diary. Plus, I can be in conversation with other writers and communities at large.
Here are three things that I’ve gained from the blogging experience (so far):
1) With a chronic illness, it’s easy to get stuck in a tunnel. You’re so desperately trying to focus on the thing right in front of you that you lose sight of everything else. Then the doctor asks you, Do you think this might be depression?Thinking about the one isolated moment where you’re really discouraged, you’re tempted to say yes. But if there’s an easy way to look up the last time you really were depressed and compare this moment to that moment, you could achieve a much more useful evaluation.
So blogging allows me to be reflective while still taking one day at a time. I can focus on the moment and what I need right now to get me to the next point. When the time comes for an overarching perspective, my blog becomes my brain’s annex where all the long-term memories are stored.
2) Community. I’ve written a lot about friends and how much friends mean to me. Through blogging, I’ve been able to connect with some other amazing people who happen to also be chronic patients. In particular, Lydia and I have become fast friends. We check in on each other, compare American & British health care, and moan & groan about the ambiguities and complexities of chronic illness together. It’s a lot of fun, especially since we’re privy to much the same language of chronic illness.
3) Names. I never knew this, but naming people and things makes me happy. There’s a thrill that comes with conceptualizing someone and then giving it a name. I suppose it can be compared to giving someone the perfect gift (which I also love to do.) In imagining names for all the characters on this blog, I’ve had fun exploring naming books & stepping outside the box.
What does blogging (or reading blogs) do for you?
Loving my blog name,