#HAWMC DAY 1 PROMPT: Welcome to Day 1 of the November HAWMC! First, let’s get to know each other! What drives you to write about your health? What do you want other Health Activists to know about your condition and your activism? Reflect on this for 15-20 minutes without stopping…GO!
First of all, I do not consider myself a health activist. To me, an activist is actively involved in creating change and policy that will better the lives of the chronically ill. They work hard to network with legislators, hospitals and physicians, as well as with non-profit or pharmaceutical organizations. They are creating real change in the communities they are a part of. If anything, all I am able to do is to try to bring awareness to certain diseases that are overlooked by the public at large and to share what I’ve learned along my journey.
I’ve been struggling with chronic illness since I was 16. As I get older, I get sicker and sicker; which is why I do not write very often, or at all for that matter. When I started my blog in 2012, I started it as an outlet to express how I was feeling; at least that was my intention. I do not have friends or family, and the people who were in my life at the time, were sick of hearing about my health. My hope was to build an internet support system, since I did not have a support system in real life.
Early on, I felt like I couldn’t really use my blog the way I had intended. I didn’t want to be just another negative voice. I wanted to end each blog with something positive or silver lining, advice, or a sliver of hope; I wanted to be encouraging. This made blogging impossible for me, because those words are not reflective of what I have experienced or felt as a disabled, chronically ill person or caregiver. Ironically, my favorite blogs are the blogs where the author is brutally honest about how much existing like this sucks. They make me feel like I am not alone. But for some reason, I’m afraid that if I write that way, I will look bitter and cynical. In the end though, all I want is for people who read my blog to realize that they are not alone; to feel validated.
I have a lot of chronic illnesses, but the one that has affected my life the most is Crohn’s Disease. I am also the caregiver for both of my parents; my mother who has Alzheimer’s Disease and my father who is in congestive heart failure and is in the final stage of lung disease. You can learn more about me and my health conditions by clicking here. To learn about my motivation for starting my blog, please click here. If you really want to hear part of my back story please check out the following page. Remember to follow the Wego Health’s Facebook page to find blogs from a wide variety of Health Advocate bloggers. If you prefer twitter, make sure to search the hashtag, #HAWMC.
*I will not be participating in every prompt given for this challenge. I do not feel that all of the prompts given by Wego Health take the readers into account, but instead focus solely on the HA themselves, which I feel defeats the purpose of the job of the HA.