Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Blogging and Chronic Illness

Wristbands from Stickman Communications

ETA: I've removed Disqus as it no longer synchs with the Blogger platform.  Commenting should be quick and easy now, if you're so inclined :)

Chronic illness sucks.  Autoimmune diseases suck.  They drain the life out of everything that you value and take over your life like a plague.  They skew your thinking and impair your mobility.  You become a full-time patient; the exact opposite of who you are as a person.  I am one of those people.

In trying to find balance between illness and creativity I made a lot of changes.  Some have been good but most were not.  I've shared bits and pieces here but it's mostly by what I did than what I wrote that you can tell what happened.  I jumped from new blog to new blog and from new platform to new platform.  I imagine that this made it quite confusing for readers who wanted to follow along with my creative adventures.  Chronic illness, especially chronic pain, skews your thinking and huge thoughts of guilt and worthlessness worm their way into your consciousness. The good days come and go and the bad days are endured, often with clenched teeth.

I'm three and a half years in this New Normal, I have a better sense of the reality of living with chronic illness and have become slightly more adept at balancing the good with the challenging.  I had a new body to get used to, a new shape to accept, and pacing myself became my mantra. In doing so, I realized that it's ok to abandon your blog while you tend to your health.  It's ok to not feel comfortable with being photographed.  It's ok to admit it's been really hard to adjust.

My creative hobbies have saved my sanity time and again. Sharing my makes just became too challenging over the past while as I dealt with my new self.  I have a new specialist now who seems to be invested in helping me feel better and this gave my mental health a much needed boost.  As I finally began to feel validated as a patient, I found that my joy of making and sharing was gradually returning.

For those of you who stuck around through this rollercoaster, I thank you.  I often felt that I was shouting into an abyss but Gillian's recent post made me realize that that wasn't true.  Pain and frustration come through in writing and that can be off putting.  I finally gave myself permission to let go of blogging guilt (it's real, let me tell you) and wait for the joy to return.

I've put together a small capsule-style wardrobe for my fall and winter making, which I've briefly shared on Instagram and have queued up in my Textillia studio. Each fabric I've chosen makes me feel happy and I'm looking forward to slowly making each piece and sharing them here. 


Jane said...

I've only 'met' you through Instagram but actually I think you radiate positivity! I am so sorry for your health challenges, but it's good to know you have found a better professional to help. Sending warm wishes to you from afar!

Sarah Randt said...

Thank you so much, Jane :) Your comment means a lot.

Helen said...

Lovely to hear from you. I am a long time follower (didn't realise it was that long though. Wow!) and was a bit confused by all the changes (it seemed so much effort on your part!). Glad you are feeling more settled and I look forward to reading about your plans and makes. X

Sarah Sparkles said...

HI Helen! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment :). I'm glad my endless jumping is over - I can only imagine how bonkers it must have felt to try and keep up. I'm so glad you stuck with me.

Jo said...

Although I have never met you I think you are an amazing, strong, sparkly person and I'm so glad you feel you're finally coming into a much more positive place. You were one of the first sewing blogs I found many years ago but it took me a long time to de-lurk as I felt stuck in a baking blogger circle. As always I look forward to seeing where your creativity takes you :)

Sarah Sparkles said...

Thank you so much, Jo! It's comments like yours that really make my day.