Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Blogging about Blogging

Sue Eckstein wrote an article in the Guardian entitled “why people blog about illness”. She, like me, is a woman who had never before publicized personal intricacies, nor even read a blog before jotting her first few words. There is much of her article that concurs with my own sentiments about writing and why it has become such and fundamental and vital element of my present existence. She writes,

the writing of a daily blog post became as important to my recovery as my antibiotics and physio exercises; it provided a shape to the day and gave me a sense of purpose – a sense that I had some control in an environment where almost everything else was happening to and not with me.”

It is completely dumbfounding and bewildering (excuse the tautology) how composition, which is an area I have always considered to me one of my weakest, has become my most effective lifeline. It is true that writing grants me an element of control and does instill a routine to my days. I do not intend to impugn her opinion, however, for me this is only the tip of the iceberg, only the superficial and easily explicable rationale as to why the formulation of a coherent piece of prose is so therapeutic.

I believe that for a large number of the individuals that blog about illness or blog as a result of illness, the challenge to create a few lines which reveal, whether the readers notice it or not, a thought, fear, anxiety or indifference, forces the writer to address this issue in a deep and meaningful way to them. The blog then provides a forum for the writer to have means to then release it. The captivity of the idea into a piece of writing can liberate the issue from tormenting the mind of the writer. This does not mean that “ill” writer will never again struggle with this thought, fear, anxiety or indifference; yet, it can provide, at least, a temporary release.

Writing is, for me, akin to a whirlwind romance. It is all absorbing, all consuming. It is not crucial that anyone else sees the beauty of my love, or understands his power over me. I cannot help becoming completely distracted from my pain when dominated by him. However, it is always wonderful when someone else does appreciate his style or also finds him appealing.


  1. I hope you don't mind that I used the facebook button to share your post on blogging on my facebook page (not that many friends, so it won't be wide spread). I thought your piece was evocative and spoke to the reasons we chronic folks find blogging so therapeutic.
    Thanks for this.

  2. Hello to you from Sydney Australia....
    Thank you for your blog. It is amazing to read about you, and what is happening in your world: your situation, overwhelmingly sad, yet you persevere, in such spirits and bring your world to the page via a witty and revealing pen.
    I share your pain, in ways that mirror the turmoil of chronic agony, perhaps a different avenue that it arrived into my life; but non the less, it arrived.
    In my early 20's, I was diagnosed with Schumann's disease of the spine, X rays revealing large holes on the spinal bone. I had been urged to go to the doctor by a friend, because I was hurting all the time!

    The discovery that I had this disease was an answer, in place of the complete mystery which occupied my poor mind, WHY I had been hurting ALL the time was thus answered, however, there was no sign of any cure. At the time, I had been waitressing 5 days a week, and I recall sitting down and crying many many times, because the pain was overwhelming.

    By the time I'd had a child, in 1990, I was in such agonies I wondered whether I'd survive, and I began writing my ''goodbye'' letters, convinced I would not last the distance. However, I did survive (!) and enjoyed raising my dear daughter, who (thank heaven) was pain free. People have a very hard time being able to relate to what it is like, when you have severe pain that is permanent. Just the same way, I cannot imagine what it would be like to be pain free!

    In the last 7 months, I have began to have signs that all was not well, in other directions; too sore to walk on my feet, I was home-bound for some 4 months. A diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis has, to me, sealed my doom. If I thought I was in pain previously, this new addition to my woes has magnified pain levels to such an extent that I have not had a full night's sleep in those months, and struggle with the most ordinary of tasks - unbelievable how one could feel so useless, and humiliated by a physical condition. My lovely daily walks have become a thing of the past, as inevitable weight gain has become another issue. Lack of exercise - a frightening reality, I have striven to overcome this lack, endeavouring to keep muscles working - especially the supporting muscles in my legs.

    To say I am real on what life must be like for you with your condition may not be real; but I certainly understand what most cannot: what it is like to have continuous, dreadful, overwhelming pain.

    Thank you for sharing via your blog, I wish you every possible success with all efforts to return you to a world of pain - free living.

    Regards, Natasha O'Sullivan from Sydney.