Posted in Advocate, Health Activist Challenge, NHBPM

NHBPM Day #4 After I Hit Publish

Today’s NHBPM prompt asks: What happens after you press “publish.” Write about your post-blog-writing process. Do you immediately tweet a link? Email it to everyone? Re-read it for spelling errors?

I once read that serious bloggers don’t stop after hitting the publish button.  Creating good content is the only first part.   It is getting the message out that really matters.  Of course, I don’t always run to Facebook and I don’t really use twitter that much anymore but it is nice to get the message out.  For the most part, I have a great group of people who like to read my posts and they are able to since they automatically get an update via Facebook or via email as subscribers, or have another follow option.  

When I do reviews, I don’t spend a lot of time getting the message out.  I usually just send out a message to those I know that are interested and go from there.  I have loyal followers and I like it that way.  It is my way of saying thank you to them by not employing all the “get the word out” options.

For me, my readers’ feedback is most important and I try to respond to every comment.  I am not always able to as life can get pretty busy for me.  If for some reason I don’t respond to a comment of yours one day, it is not because I am not acknowledging the value of it but because I am overwhelmed or just busy.  My life has a tendency to be like that.  Your feedback is the reason I write and if I didn’t get any feedback, I would just be talking to myself.

Of course, I review the content several times after I have posted it because, unfortunately, I think faster than I type so there are errors after I hit publish and sometimes, I don’t bother checking.  I check for spelling and grammatical errors and spacing and formatting errors but I still manage to miss them because, well, I am human.  I generally don’t tweet about my posts but I do have them linked to Facebook and once in a while if I am really interested in feedback, I will repost on Facebook.

I am not here to make a profit.  I am here to write about chronic illness and how it affects my life.  I think that when people are first diagnosed, they see their illness as something that has just taken over their life. While that is true on some level, it is not entirely true.  Chronic illness may be a part of your life and it might complicate it sometimes but you always have some degree of control.  The choices you make, how you decide to respond and fight back keeps you control.  

When I started blogging, I did it because it was the thing to do. I started blogging when I pregnant with my now three year old. RA had not yet come into my life. In fact, I had it all and I really had nothing to blog about.  My marriage was good, I have a new baby on the way, my career was thriving and I had bigger plans, and life was going according to my plans.  In those days, I blogged about the humor that constantly was a part of my life whether it was about my son, my pregnancy, my siblings, my job, and my life.  I was happier than I had been in a long time.  After chronic illness came into my life, things changed and I want to blame chronic illness but that wasn’t all the case.

My life seemed to change overnight.  My blog went from expressing my thoughts and opinions to a place to vent my frustrations about my health and the issues that life was throwing at me.  Chronic illness turned me into a person I barely recognized.  My moods were angry and sad as I struggled with a new life of illness and pain and all this with a new baby and having to return to work because of a bad financial situation.   I remember crying every day for a good sixth month period.  I was falling into depression, waiting for some horrible fate, and I felt more alone than I had ever felt in my life.  I put on a brave face in front of family and friends, and especially my kids.  The woman I was before RA and fibromyalgia was strong and always on top of her game but the person I had become was a blubbering mess.

I am not sure when it happened but sometime after the spring of 2009, about nine months after my diagnosis, I looked in the mirror and I realized that I did not know who I was.  I had started communicating with other bloggers about their experiences and it occurred to me that my fears were nothing more than fears. Chronic illness would only disable me and end of my life if I let it and that was the road I was heading.  I also thought about my kids and what my choices were doing to them and what they would to them in the long term. I was failing them and not giving them the mother that they deserved.  I knew that they deserved better and I vowed to give them better.  I tell myself everyday that RA and fibro will only win if I let them and I have to set a better example for my children.

So, I blog to remind myself of that promise.  I blog to allow to see what took me nine months to see.  Your life is only over because of chronic illness if you let that happen. Every time I hit publish, I wonder whether I am sending out the right message even when I vent.  I think it is important that other patients see the human side of chronic illness. We are not always go getters and we are not always strong.  We often keep going because we have to.  

I went from enjoying my life to complaining about it. It took a wakeup call to write from my heart. If not for my blog, however, I would have not seen what was happening to me.  I am glad to connect with others who understand my struggles and are willing to share the best of their selves, their victories and their struggles.  I am proud that I can make a difference in the lives of others who are struggling with the things that I have struggled with. I am glad that they see me as strong even I don’t see myself as such. It is my wake-up that I am making the same mistakes that nearly put me into severe depression nearly three years ago.  My blogging also benefits me because it keeps me knowledgeable and active about chronic illness and sometimes, I feel like I can be an expert on topics that I once knew nothing about and that in turn makes me feel important and I don’t know about the rest of you but when chronic illness limits you, important is as good as it gets. 

What about you? What happens when you hit publish? Also, why do you blog? Leave those interesting and creative responses below.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:  


3 thoughts on “NHBPM Day #4 After I Hit Publish

  1. I proofread, find and fix boo-boos, and then I check back occasionally during the day for comments, which like you, I love. 😉

    I blog because I love to write, and blogging gives me a good excuse to do that. I also blog as a way to explore my own feelings about having a chronic illness and chronic pain, and I blog with the hope of helping others with RA, other autoimmune diseases and fibromyalgia learn to cope and not feel so alone. Finally, blogging has given me many dear friends, like yourself, who are able to empathize with me and with whom I can empathize and support in return. What a wonderful communication medium this is. 🙂

  2. You did so much more with this prompt than I did! Beautiful! This is the best explanation of why any of us blog about our health. Great advocacy work!!!

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