Each week we are highlighting a different Chronic Illness Bloggers’ member as our ‘Blogger of the Week‘. As well as getting to know each other better, we hope that you enjoy this series and that you find the interviews with each member to be insightful and helpful.
This week our blogger of the week is Nicole of Mrs Jeeby’s Survival Kit.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Nicole, I’m 22 and I struggle with a rare condition called Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH), which I was diagnosed with in July 2014. Since then I have had 11 lumbar punctures– on average every 2 months– tried all the medication out there and haven’t really gotten anywhere. I felt like I lost my life, everything I once knew had gone and now I have to rebuild my life and the things I love around my condition.
2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
My blog is called Mrs Jeeby’s Survival Kit. My blog’s purpose is to provide people who are suffering with as many helpful tools as possible, to help them make it through the new difficult lives we have been given. I have created the #SpoonieHeroes community to provide recognition for everyone going through a hard time. I work alongside other Spoonie bloggers to build a better blogging community and I also provide web services to help them grow their blogs and raise more awareness for people with chronic conditions.
3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I only started blogging in September 2015. I started because I felt that the few other blogs written by people with the same condition as me didn’t feel relatable. They were often structured a lot like diaries, which meant that I felt quite alone when my experiences were different from theirs. So I started to raise awareness about IIH while keeping my content open and as relatable to as many people as possible, including those with other illnesses and conditions.
4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
Up until recently I didn’t have a particular schedule; I posted when I was able to and knew that my readers would understand. Having a chronic condition means that you can’t always do things when you want to and I always make my readers aware of that. Recently due to started the web services and lessons and becoming pregnant, I plan to post on a schedule to allow readers the ability to choose what they want to read. This will likely be: Monday – Spoonie Mummy Pregnancy Posts, Wednesday – Chronic Health Posts and Friday – Blogging Service Tips. Again, this all depends on how many spoons I have.
5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
I could have never imagined the benefit that blogging has brought to my life; not only have I been able to connect with other bloggers that suffer from various health conditions (who understand the difficulty of life and continue to inspire me every day), but I have also been able to meet local bloggers in my area that have added so much value to my life. Via a Bournemouth Blogger meet, I was also able to meet a blogger (who I now consider to be good friend) who runs mummy meets in our area. This allows me to connect with people on other levels than just my illness. On top of meeting new people, sharing my experiences has allowed me to became a stronger person. I’m now more able than ever to manage my condition and (know when to) push myself to follow my dreams in life despite the pain I suffer.
6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
Sadly society still misunderstands chronic illness. There are still so many things out there that could be changed to make life easier for those who suffer from daily mental and physical pain. Jump on twitter and search #SpoonieProblems to find out the little things that make our lives harder. While pain is of course is the main subject, there are lots of issues that could easily be rectified if only society was more open to the fact that we (as people who suffer chronic pain) do exist in their everyday lives. Blogging allows us to share our feelings and struggles with the world on a level that we can feel comfortable.
7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
1. Write honestly; your true feelings as raw as they feel. WE suffer and we shouldn’t feel we have to sugar coat our pain to make others feel more comfortable about reading it. That being said, don’t just write angry post about life, be angry but be constructive.
2. Don’t be afraid to share it with EVERYONE in your life. That little voice that says, “I ‘don’t want to bug my friends about my health”, ignore it. They can’t be a true friend if there are things you feel you can’t share with them and if they have a problem with it – you don’t need them in your life.
3. Pace yourself, don’t push to fit a schedule that someone else thinks is ideal. Just because that person has been writing a post every day for 3 years it doesn’t mean you have it. Be mindful of what you are realistically able to do.