"Where there is creativity, there is hope." ~ Donna Karan

Turning Two

by - Saturday, April 28, 2012

Two years ago I started on my blogging adventure. I had no idea where it would take me and I never imagined that I would be blessed to meet such amazing, encouraging, courageous and inspirational people through it.
I was struggling with depression and thoughts of self harm. I felt isolated by my illnesses. I felt disconnected and lonely. I was frustrated and angry, hardly coping with the emotional turmoil and chaos that chronic illness had brought into my life. I felt abandoned, discouraged and hopeless. I took these feelings out on my family who have done nothing but support me. I would try to keep how I was feeling to myself, and not take it out on others but when grief got the better of me, I would explode like a volcano. I was miserable and very unpleasant to live with.
I saw a couple of counsellors, but sitting and talking to a stranger who didn't understand my symptoms while feeling extremely exhausted didn't really help me all that much. If anything, it left me feeling more drained.
I knew I needed to reach out and connect with other people going through the same thing, who could relate to how I was feeling, but I didn't know how. After years of battling symptoms of which people struggled to understand the severity of, I needed validation.
I thought about searching for a local support group that I could attend, but I was afraid that they would be all doom and gloom. I was also worried that I would be the youngest one there because Fibromyalgia typically affects middle aged people. A counsellor did suggest trying to find some support online and I immediately shot that idea down, because I was wary about online support forums. I was terrified that a stalker would come across my profile, hack into my computer, track me down and kill me. Boy, has this blogger come a long way!
Enough was enough though. I knew I needed to try something different. I wanted to find a way to cope and live successfully with chronic illness, if that was possible. After three weeks of sleeplessness (I kid you not) due to the side effect of insomnia from an anti-depressant I was trying, I logged onto my laptop in the middle of the night and did a search for chronic illness forums, which then led me to find some intriguing blogs about living and coping with chronic pain and illness.
Lack of sleep led me to find so many wonderful, encouraging, supportive, and helpful chat forums and blogs. I discovered a world of people who knew my pain. I wasn't alone, and for once I didn't feel like I was. I read through so many different blogs that night, written by people who were brave and honest enough to put their feelings out there. I had finally found people that shared similar experiences I could relate too, and I wanted to connect. I wanted to share and tell my story too.
So, I took the plunge. I opened up a Blogger account and have never looked back since. I had no knowledge of blogging whatsoever, and I had little idea what I would write about (I knew I couldn't keep harping on about illness all the time) or what direction I would take it. I didn't know how I would manage to keep up with it, and I didn't know if anyone would even want to read it. But I needed to find my voice. I needed to express myself creatively.I knew I just needed to write. I had too. My survival depended on it.
It has taken me sometime to find my groove and discover what works and what doesn't. I eventually learned that if I wanted to have a somewhat successful blog, I needed to believe in it, and with so many other talented chronic illness bloggers, I knew I needed to bring something different to the blogosphere. I wanted to deliver a chronic illness blog with a different approach- a creative take on illness. A blog with variety that has something for everyone.
It has taken much effort and time to get to where I am today. There were so many days where I just wanted to give up because it felt as though I was talking to a brick wall, but post after post I kept putting me and my little blog out there and the people came. I started hearing from people who felt the same way I did. I started receiving many emails from people thanking me for my blog and the difference it made in their life.
Every time I log onto a sweet encouraging comment and hear about how many people love this blog and are inspired to live creatively despite illness, I am humbled. I truly didn't start this blog for others. I did it for myself, for my own sanity, and the fact that there are people telling me that they are encouraged by it is really amazing. It makes the bad days worth it.
Blogging has given me the opportunity to meet and get to know such wonderfully incredible, talented people from around the world who I otherwise would have never known. Blogging has transformed and saved my life. I'm not as depressed, I no longer need anti-depressants and I cope a lot better. During bad times, I can release my frustrations and fears without taking it out on the people around me and I can share my achievements with people who I've never met, but who I know care.
Blogging has given me a reason to live, it has given my life purpose again. I can connect and still be apart of life without even leaving my bedroom.
I am so thankful that I can log onto this blog, my facebook page and twitter. I have somewhere to go to express myself and be honest with where I'm at. I am so blessed to be able to reach out to and connect with others who on a bad day, help put a smile on my face.
I am incredibly grateful for those who take the time out to read my blog and support me, and I am so proud to be apart of such a wonderful blogging community. To say thank you, I am hosting a kick arse baking giveaway this coming week, as voted by you! Here's a sneaky peeky.
This year my treasured readers will have a real advantage, so stay tuned! x
PS. For more creativity, fun, positive quotes, humour and blog updates, make sure you join the facebook page.

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