One year ago I posted my first blog entry. Compelled by the sense that there had to be people out there like me—young and living with multiple chronic illnesses—and that if only I started to write about it I might connect with them, I started slowly and hesitantly. Would anyone read what I’d written, and more importantly, would anyone care about what I had to say?
The first couple of months I only posted once or twice—between graduate thesis work and my goal of posting essay-type pieces that offered some sort of insight and could hopefully stand alone, it took me a little while to find my rhythm. I began to notice a pattern—people started commenting, and their insights helped me think of things in new ways and pointed me towards all sorts of blogs and perspectives. I am deeply grateful to those of you who have found something that resonates with your own experiences enough to keep on reading.
When you live with rare diseases or multiple diseases, it’s easy to feel isolated, both in terms of day to day to experiences and also in terms of a writing community. Not many people write about PCD or bronchiectasis. I knew I wouldn’t have the huge, thriving audience that a well-known disease like diabetes would, and that while a lot of my experiences with things like infertility and chronic fatigue or celiac disease and thyroid problems related to things other people have or write about, I wondered if the fact that this wasn’t a disease-specific blog would somehow isolate me.
My hope was that the overall experience of living with chronic illness—the ups, the downs, the minutiae of daily life, the relationship moments—were universal enough to apply to anyone who clicked on my blog, that issues of identity, acceptance, setbacks, and hope transcend any one disease or condition, and, of course, that there is humor in all of this craziness.
That’s still my hope.
One year later, I think I’ve found a rhythm, one that wouldn’t exist without the people reading it on the other end.