When Chronic Illness Strikes

When Chronic Illness Strikes

This post is (1/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.

Blaugust Has Begun!

Today marks the first day of Blaugust. This week, the theme is “Prep Week”. As explained by Bel, “This is a time for those of us in the community who have sorta figured this blogging thing out to help get you started with some tips and tricks style posts.”

I’m not always great at working within themes, but today inspiration came to me as I tried to work my way through another depressive episode to make this first post. (I’m fairly open about the fact that I have depression and anxiety. It’s something you may see mentioned here often.)

Chronic Illness Is a Thing

It’s a thing that many people deal with day-to-day, whether it be an invisible illness (mental illness, chronic pains, etc.) or a visible illness, it is something that can be especially draining. And some days, you just don’t have enough spoons to get done what needs to get done… so how does one even begin to tackle the “want to do”s, like blogging?

Well, that’s something you need to decide for yourself, but here’s some tips and tricks I use that may prove helpful for others.

Rabbit From a Hat

Sometimes it can feel like you’re doing magic tricks to tackle the “want to do”s. But there’s ways I’ve found to help me  manage that. I’m hoping they prove of some use to others.

  • Sometimes, accept that it just can’t be tackled and change your goal. I know the vast majority of us have lofty goals to try and complete all 31 days with no issue. But sometimes, goals need to be adjusted so that you don’t run yourself ragged. While I very much wanted to try to get this post out today (and I succeeded) I also had to accept that maybe it wasn’t a good day to try.
  • Find other avenues if it’s too much. For me, this sometimes means writing it down in my bullet journal until I get to a place where I have the energy to sit at the computer to re-write, tweak, and find images to go with it. On really bad days, it could mean that I use a voice recorder on my phone and just speak my ideas until I get to a place where I can transpose them. Maybe for you that means you just post an audio log and add an edit to a post later transposing it. Or maybe you just leave the audio as-is on your blog. Don’t hold yourself to just writing walls of text.
  • Don’t hold yourself to writing walls of text. Yes, I know I just said this, but don’t feel obligated to hold yourself to writing more than one or two paragraphs. A great example is Aeyvi‘s blog/website Screenographic. Her posts essentially consist of a batch of photos in a gallery format. While not a traditional “blog”, per se, it’s still an amazing resource, and one I love to indulge in. If you’re not feeling walls of text, don’t do it. Post a bunch of screenshots you took and give a sentence or two. Or even just one paragraph is enough. Microblogging is a valid form of blogging.
  • Get ahead on the good days. If you’re lucky enough to have a few days where your spoon management has paid off, you might have some extra energy/time. Use these to your advantage and start putting together draft posts. Then when you have a bad day, pull out these (hopefully at least mostly finished) posts, add a tweak or two, and post it. These will probably have to be something a little more evergreen in topic, but you can always adjust something later (assuming it isn’t about current events).
  • Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up. This is a trap that everyone falls into, and I can attest it can be difficult to practice what you preach. But it goes back to the first point: accept that you just might not be able to tackle it. Sometimes, we just can’t do everything. Chronic illness is tough. And, at least for me, I get in a mindset of, “how can I not even handle this? I must be terrible!”. Luckily I have a wonderful Manthing who reminds me that no, I’m just doing the best I can.

And I want to tell all of you, if you run into this… YOU. ARE. DOING. THE. BEST. YOU. CAN. It won’t necessarily look like someone else’s best-they-can, and that’s okay. You’re on your own journey. Use it to your advantage. Work with it. Find new ways to tackle things. Y’all got this.

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