It’s been a year since I posted my first ever blog post, documenting my story with ME CFS. At that point I was very early in my ME CFS journey, having had it only a number of months. I was nervous about the future, unsure about what the next months, and years, would bring.
As I write this, I honestly can’t believe it’s been a year already. In some ways I thought things would have changed more than they have so far, but do you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing.
When I started this blog, I honestly didn’t know how it would go down, whether anyone would actually be interested in my writing, but it seems they were. Since launching my website, it has been viewed over 21,000 times, from people all over the world. 3000 people now follow me on social media, and 170 subscribe via email. My most popular posts continue to be my explanation of the difference between being fatigued and being tired, and my experiences of dealing with the grief associated with adjusting to life with chronic illness.
I started off managing to publish 2-3 posts a week but very quickly realised this was totally unsustainable with life with ME CFS. I’m now lucky if I manage to get one post published a week but I’m happy with that. Over the last year I’ve published 56 posts, something I’m seriously proud of.
The aim of the blog when I first started had basically been to share the ups and downs of life with chronic illness, particularly as a parent. But mainly it has become a source of therapy, a way to process the rollercoaster of emotions that come my way. Having my social media profiles alongside my website have meant I can communicate with others in the same position, something I am so very grateful for.
Over this last year I’ve realised that I properly do love writing, I really do, so this hobby of keeping the blog going (and it’s definitely a hobby as I don’t earn anything from it!) has been wonderful.
But do you know what’s been the best thing about this year? People have actually asked me to share my story with their publications, something I never thought would happen.
The Metro newspaper featured me in their “You Don’t Look Sick” series, a brilliant initiative to raise awareness of “invisible” illnesses like ME CFS.
A project called SheCan365 featured me on their site, a place where they were featuring a different woman each day of the year. I was thoroughly honoured to be on there.
Then most recently, the amazing Posability Magazine asked me to write for them. My first piece of writing in an actual printed magazine, who knew that would ever happen?
But do you know what’s been the best part of the last year? The online chronic illness community I’ve become a part of. A massive group of thousands of us across social media, all in the same position has made me feel so very welcome, and less alone in those dark moments.
I now get to work alongside other M.E. bloggers with the M.E. Association and am thoroughly honoured to be one of their Champion Bloggers. We don’t earn anything from this but being a Champion Blogger means our writing gets shared with a wider audience, getting our writing out there in the public sphere.
There are 11 of us as Champion Bloggers and I’m honoured every day to be one of them. Click below to read about the rest of the group and see their work.
I’m not sure what the next months and years hold for both my health and this blog but for now, thank you to all of you who have supported me on this journey, from commenting on one of my blog posts or simply sending a message of support. The nature of my blog hasn’t always been easy reading, and nor will it be, as it reflects the reality of life with chronic illness, but people have stuck by me and for that, I’m incredibly grateful.
To all my readers, thank you.
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