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 Lauren of Broken Down Body.

lauren1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Lauren, or Ren to the blog world. I’ve always felt a bit like a square peg in a world of round holes. I live with my amazing boyfriend, our two budgies and our hamster, Barry. I’ve not been able to work since November 2015 due to pain and difficulties associated with my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and associated illnesses. The last year has been one big diagnostic disaster but I think I’m finally getting somewhere.

2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
My blog is called Broken Down Body. It does what it says on the tin. I live life with the human body equivalent of the battered old hand-me-down car that your Mum, brother and sister all used to drive. It lets me down all the time and sometimes I get mad, but sometimes I blog about the funny side. I blog to share my experience and to hopefully show other people dealing with chronic illness that we all share the same embarrassing, degrading, stressful and downright hilarious experiences.

3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I’ve only been blogging since April 2016. I blog because I like the sound of my own voice, basically. I felt a lot like people in “real life” were disinterested in what I was going through, so reached out to the blog world. I’ve connected with some lovely bloggers all over the world, so it’s definitely been worth it.

4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
I post at least twice a week but try not to post more than 5 times a week. I don’t set limits on myself because it’s not something I do to test or push myself. I’d rather only post once a week and make it a good one if I’m running low on energy or inspiration.

5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
Absolutely! I don’t feel alone. I can share things that have worked for me (like my TENS unit) and maybe help other people through that. On a more selfish note, I’ve met some amazing people who I wish I could fly to the other side of the world and meet for a cup of tea… or a glass of wine. The Mighty publishing my post boosted my self-esteem no end. If it wasn’t for my blog, I’d never have had the confidence to submit a post.

6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
Because if our “well” friends and family can absorb even 10% of what they read in blogs, it will make life easier for us. I know that I can tell my family my experience, but they will always assume I am exaggerating. But if they look it up and see someone else is having the same problems, they are more inclined to believe me. It sucks, but it’s the way it is. We have to stick together! It provides unrivalled support and never ending kindness which is vital if any of us want to hold on to our sanity.

7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
1 – Try not to be negative all the time. Even if you break up a particularly rough period with a post about your pets or your favourite make up, it keeps people interested.

2 – Use photos! People want to see the device you’re using, or the garden you’re sitting in. Being able to put a face to a blog makes you far more memorable.

3 – Don’t make your blog into a stressor. It’s not worth it. Your health matters more – that is after all why we all do this.

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