health, life

On Being Chronically Ill

Someone else who’s chronically ill said one time that they never posted or talked about it. They didn’t want who they are or what they achieve to be marked in any way by being sick. I thought I resonated with that, and I slowed down posting about having Chiari.

I’ve always rebelled against the idea of being sick. Since I was a child with asthma, I remember being told I couldn’t do something, and this fire burning in me that I would prove otherwise. Yes that has gotten me into trouble. I have given up many things – like scented laundry soap, candles, and walks in the cold, because my asthma just won’t let me have those things.

When I first found out about my Chiari, I wanted to be a voice of hope and reason and reasonable expectations for other people with my condition. I quickly realized that the range of symptoms is so great that what is okay for me is not always okay for them and the other way around, too.

Then came the silence about it. It almost felt like hiding at times, but I still tried to keep quiet about it. I see it in my book journey, in my author pages, my bio, and the content I post. Until the other day, I was never mentioning chronic illness.

Another creator who battles with a body that doesn’t always feel well shared about their struggle, in a positive way, and it was authentic. I instantly connected with their struggle and choice to push through. It hit me, what if, by being quiet about my Chiari, I’m holding someone else back from being encouraged and inspired when they need it?

The truth is, I battle my own body every day. From headaches to numbness to dizziness. My ears ring all of the time. What works one day for relief doesn’t always work the next, and it’s a little bit of a shot in the dark trying each day.

I don’t want to whine. I don’t want my content or what I share to be venting or complaining or negative or darkness. I want to share hope, to inspire, to lift up, to encourage. And I want to talk a little bit more about struggling with chronic illness as a wife, a mom, an author, and more.

Please share your thoughts!

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