8 Things Writing and Chronic Illness Have in Common

Recently while watching Golden Girls, Betty White’s character, Rose Nylund, had a particularly rough day and said something that both made me laugh and nod my head in agreement: “I feel like crawling under the covers and eating Velveeta out of the box.”

writer, writing, chronic illness, 8 Things Writing and Chronic Illness Have in Common

Photo credit: Nana B. Agyei

Not only do I feel this way on occasion due to my illness but writing can make me feel this way too. That’s when I realized that writing and chronic illness have a lot in common.

1. Waiting
Waiting to hear back about your query, waiting for inspiration to strike, waiting for your writing career to truly start … writing is a waiting game. Chronic illness is no different: waiting for a diagnosis, waiting rooms, doctors’ waitlists, waiting for a treatment to work, etc.

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The Past, Feelings and Chronic Illness

I don’t receive personal emails very often, so usually when I check my email, it is some combination of work-related messages, spam and messages from organizations or retailers I’ve had some affiliation with in the past. And, by “some affiliation with” I mean shopping.

chronic illness, coping, feelings

©Photocreo via Canva.com

Today, however, one of the emails caused a stir of emotion. The subject line alerted me that it was time for Fall Skeeball League sign ups. I bet you didn’t know I played on a skeeball team in my past life.

I am certainly no skeeball whiz kid, but I love it! Combine that with having a standing date each week with two of my good friends and pumpkin ale, and you have yourself a recipe for fun. But ultimately, I have a love/hate relationship with this fond memory. Continue reading

Social Media and Chronic Illness

When it comes to chronic illness, social media can be a blessing and a curse. Especially if your condition prevents you from getting out of the house, social media can be a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. It can also be a great way to connect with online support groups.

social media

Photo credit: Jason Howie

Being a member of an online support group comes with many benefits. First, you can make friends with people who are struggling with the same conditions and symptoms. Having a friend that truly understands what you are going through is invaluable. In addition to meeting people who you connect with on a personal level, the online support group can give you a feeling of belonging, provide you with knowledge and educational resources about your condition, and give you a place to seek comfort, let off steam or assuage your fears.

However, as with most things, there can be negatives to participating in social media when you are struggling with a chronic illness:

1. Fear of missing out (aka FOMO)

When your illness limits your ability to participate in social activities, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be death traps of self-pity, frustration and jealousy. From seeing pictures of your friends enjoying a night out to posts about weddings, babies, new jobs and new homes, social media can quickly make you feel like your life isn’t measuring up.

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Blogging with a Chronic Illness: The Sequel

A picture I took in my “past life” in the Bahamas in 2005. I find this image calming and a visual representation of refresh and renewal.

For a little over three years, I have been living with a chronic illness. At some point during year two, I started a blog about POTS — Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Since that time, I have learned and grown, so I decided I wanted to take my blogging in a different direction.

Rather than blog specifically about POTS, I want to expand into chronic illness issues and musings in general. I also want to incorporate more of my passion for writing as I see fit. This is my refresh. I hope you will join me on this journey!