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Since being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s and adrenal dysfunction, as well as depression and anxiety, I have started writing about my experiences. The aim being to not only raise awareness of what I and others go through (as people with mental and physical health conditions), but also to let others going through the same thing know that they’re not alone, and to also have an outlet for what I experience.
It’s true, I’ve been told that my writing has helped others to realise that they may have the same physical and/or mental health conditions as me. I’ve also been told that they’ve helped other people realise that they’re not alone. As I have also been told that they’ve helped those who know someone with these conditions to understand what we go through.
But I also write for me. It’s an outlet for my frustration and helps me feel calmer when I’m going through a particularly tough patch with chronic and/or mental illness.
However, a few people lately have taken to telling me that my writing is making me more ill. Their idea being that because I’m focusing on the ‘negatives’ and ‘bathe’ in my health conditions, it reinforces them in my mind. I become what I do apparently. Because that’s how it works.
If I “think positive” my mental and physical health will just magically all get better, right?
Not really. Writing is an outlet for me. Sure, I write some stuff that might seem negative or as it ‘focuses on the bad things’ at times, but if you read some of my other articles or books, you’d also know I write positive pieces, too.
Before I started writing and was just going through the trials and tribulations of my health, I felt alone, frustrated and lost. Writing about it, I’ve met others who are in the same or similar boat and I feel calmer.
I don’t become what I write, I write about what I’ve already become.
I cover all sides of living with the things I have and I write about what I’m going through at that particular time in my life. I don’t hide anything, I cover the ups and downs. Getting that out onto a page is therapeutic for me and it opens up dialogue for discussion on chronic and mental health, which we need.
I’m fed up with people only wanting to know the happy parts of others’ lives and so they brush the darker times under the carpet, as if we should be ashamed of them. Some people are only supportive when I write more positive posts but should I dare be honest about something difficult I’m dealing with and I’m ‘making myself more ill’ or ‘basking in my problems.’
Who are they to make such judgments about me?
I’ll keep writing for me, but also for those people who feel less alone when they stumble across my writing and so friends and family members can understand that little bit more about what their loved one is going through and open up dialogue.
Do you find writing to be therapeutic, too?
You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.
The book Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate: When You’re Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired by Rachel.
RachMay 12, 2018 at 10:32 pm
I’ve had similar reactions to my blog and have even been told by people in the disability community that my words about my invisible illness story are not the way one should write about disability. That kind of lateral aggression really bites.
Your story is your own, your words are your gift to others who relate to you. Bravo for calling those statements out.
You are awesome.
Keep writing those words out into the world. More people need them than you know.