Welcome to the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge brought together by WEGO Health – a social network for all health activists. Again, I am participating in the annual Writer’s Month Challenge in which I will be writing about my health activism and health condition based upon prompts given.
Today’s final prompt reads as follows:
You did it!…You’ve crossed the #HAWMC finish line. Recap the past month for us. What did you enjoy, what didn’t you enjoy? Favourite prompt?
Well, I have made it!! I have managed to write ALL 30 posts in 30 days! And what a journey it has been – one full of ups and downs. Celebration of triumphs over certain neurological symptoms in the post ‘I went and I conquered!‘ and reflecting on the tough times as a result of chronic illness in posts such as ‘Dear Rhiann (at age 16)‘ and ‘Escaping the monotony and boredom of chronic illness…‘. Some posts were deeply personal and regarding my own life and experience with chronic such as the letter to my younger self, ‘Reflection of a life with illness…‘ and ‘Lesson Learned! Don’t walk down the stairs with trembling legs…‘ whilst other posts explored what is it like to live with a chronic illness in general in posts such as ‘Clichés often heard when dealing with chronic illness…‘, ‘The representation of chronic illness on TV…‘ and ‘Rules for dating a Spoonie…‘.
Although there were a lot of difficult aspects of completing such a monumental task such as writing everyday for 30 days, it has been a challenge that I most enjoyed. The challenge allowed me the opportunity to focus on something other than on my symptoms and feeling unwell; it gave me focus and also gave me a purpose. Another aspect of the challenge that I also enjoyed was the opportunity to connect with other bloggers and learn more about their lives and experiences with chronic illness. Although many of the blogs that I read or have read during the course of this writing challenge are about all different types of chronic conditions, it is surprising therefore reading others’ experiences and thoughts regarding living with chronic illness and seeing my own reflected in their words. It shows that we don’t have to find other people with the same diagnosis to find support and a connection with other patients. I have particularly enjoyed reading the wonderful and eloquent writing of Jessica Gimeno on her lovely and inspiring blog ‘Fashionably Ill: The Sick Woman’s Stylist‘. I have also had the pleasure to meet a new blogger named Kerry Wong who has a wonderfully positive and inspiring blog named ‘Float Like a Buttahfly‘ and finally I have discovered a very informative and interesting blog about living with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder at ‘What’s the ASDeal?‘
I didn’t dislike any part of the challenge, however there were aspects of the month that were incredibly difficult, such as dealing with severe symptoms whilst needing to write posts. Not easy when living with fatigue and you are constantly tired. To help this, I planned the posts ahead of time, which came as a real help especially as some days I was unable to get out of bed due to the severe weakness in my legs and as the posts for those days were already written I was just able to proofread them and then hit the publish button from the comfort from my bed. In addition, some of the posts were also similar or even exactly the same as prompts from previous years of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. An example of such a prompt is the ‘5 Challenges and 5 Small Victories‘ and the reasons for why we write. It was therefore difficult to find new ways of answering these particular prompts without repeating what I have written before.
I have to admit that I am not able to choose a favourite post as I enjoyed writing them all. The one post that did get the most traffic though was ‘Clichés often heard when dealing with chronic illness‘ so perhaps that was the readers favourite post. I did particularly enjoy the prompt that asked us to write an acceptance speech – I really liked writing the post as it allowed me to thank everyone who has supported me and helped me during my journey from diagnosis of the neurological condition to where I am now. I even showed this post to my Mum whom I mentioned in the acceptance speech, and she even teared up a little so it must have been well written and a wonderful post. Which post from the last 30 days were your favourite? I would love to hear your thoughts on the whole challenge! Please feel free to add any comments, messages or suggestions below…