Well there is a title for a post I never expected to write! I started this blog only 1 month ago (yes, I know, I said I have a lot of catching up to do), because I yearned for a new adventure.
Here I am, only 1 month into the journey and I am declaring self-love for my chronically ill body, how can that be? Love sounds a little strong, right? Actually, it is the perfect word to describe how I am at the time of writing this post.
I did not know what to expect when I started this blog and my own website. I did know, from listening to podcasts and reading other posts, that I should not have high expectations at all about others reading this, except my Mum (big tick there), and that I should just use this as an opportunity to be creative, write, reflect and capture my experiences.
I have been doing all of those things and I have loved the experience so far. This journey has given me a new focus and has really nourished me, more than a typical self-care activity. Blogging has contributed to a sense of purpose (my big picture), as I have found a useful way to pull all of the swirling thoughts out of my head and make sense of them in my own little corner of the internet.
As I have worked on each post, I have been able to clarify my passions, values, strengths, and most importantly my journey with chronic illness. The more I have written, the more I have realised that I am in a really good place right now with my whole body (physical and mental), thus my declaration. I have achieved all kinds of health and fitness goals in recent years, and have come to reconcile with my experience of chronic pain.
Blogging has helped me to appreciate all that my mind and body can do, despite how wobbly and shaky it can be or feel. I am in the best condition I have ever been since I was 12 years old and experienced those first pangs of back pain.
All of this reflection, writing and realisation has taken place against the backdrop of a global pandemic, which really has been a recipe for chaos and fear. While I have felt fear and all kinds of difficult emotions during this period, I have achieved a greater sense of clarity about what is really important to me, which has helped me to feel calmer and more focused about my priorities and future.
I was a little concerned that starting this blog might actually become detrimental for my health. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I had to pull back from some chronic illness online communities, because it was starting to impact my own mental health. However, I realise that reflected where I was at that time. I needed time to go off on my own and do my thing.
Now, I am ready to share my experiences, as well as reconnect with other chronic illness warriors. This time, things have been quite different, because I am quite different. I have been able to process my own thoughts and emotions about my journey in a more productive way, as well as sustain emotional boundaries when reading about the difficult journeys experienced by others.
Of course, I may change my mind tomorrow. Perhaps I am in a honeymoon stage with the blog and once I settle into it further, things might change. I don’t really care though, because nothing can take away the experience I have had over the last month, and I will remember this feeling, even when I inevitably go through hard times again.
My blogging journey and the love for my body has really only just begun, and I am just warming up! I cannot wait to see where this takes me next and I am excited that I have absolutely no idea what will happen.
Stay Fabulous, Jo