Sharon at Bed, Body, and Beyond is hosting the PFAM (Patients for a Moment) blog carnival this go round, and she asked, why do we write? The carnival will be posted on December 7th, be sure to go by there and find out why other’s write, and what they write about.
I’m an artist, not a professional writer, I never really considered writing anything that was meant for others to read. I kept a journal, off and on, for years. Now and then, I still find little books with partially filled pages buried deep in a box, little segments of my life, meant for no one’s eyes but mine.
The first thing I wrote that was intended for other’s to hear (or read) was a poem I wrote the day my mother died. This became the largest part of her eulogy. A poem I still cherish to this day, it’s not professional, it’s not prize worthy, but it comes from my heart, and it helped me get through the first few hours of saying goodbye to my mom.
Memories of Mom and Me
After that day, I filled many more journals with not just accounts of the day, but prose. Still, only for my eyes, or to be shared by a very select few.
For years I’ve had health problems..too many to mention. I wrote about this – privately. Then a few years ago I found out I couldn’t eat gluten. It appeared that this little ingredient in so many foods was one of the things making me sick. I started learning a whole new way to eat, to cook, to shop, to talk to wait staff…ect. I started a little blog to help me keep up with recipes, places I’d eaten, products I tried, all of my experiences being gluten-free. At first it was private, I only wrote for my information. Then I noticed other gluten-free blogs and thought others could benefit from the things I was learning…and that started me on a road to writing publicly.
My gluten-free blog was pretty popular, but I started having other health issues, and even found out I had another food intolerance. Not only did I feel that the gluten-free blog no longer fulfilled what I needed, I didn’t think I could put as much time and effort into it. So that blog had to change.
I started having more issues with Meniere’s Disease. However, it wasn’t ruling my life…yet. So I decided I wanted to start a blog about getting healthier. Yes, I was going to take a year to focus on my health and fix things. My body had other ideas, so 365 Days to a Healthier Me, changed to Picnic with Ants.
With this blog, I have thrived. I started writing this blog to tell my story, living with chronic illnesses. To get it all out before I exploded. Then I found others who understood what I was going through. I found support, and friendship, things I never expected to find, simply by writing about my life with all its struggles, dreams, hopes, milestones….
I found myself opening up and telling the nitty-gritty honest description of my emotions, and my diseases. What my Meniere’s attacks are really like, how it feels to find that your husband is now your caregiver, how losing your hearing changes your life, how having chronic pelvic and hip pain affects your sex life, what it means to be bi-polar and (mostly) stable….I write about my life, and how I strive to live it to the fullest, with chronic illnesses.
I tell everything, in detail, not just to get it out, and find support or give support, I use it to explain to those who have no idea what we go through. I have become an advocate for myself and for others with chronic issues. I’m even considering writing a book detailing different people’s experiences living with an invisible illness.