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 Kelly of She Triumphs.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I have had severe environmental allergies for years but recently found out that I have Oral Allergy Syndrome. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2013. I have had three back surgeries and first learned of my fractured spine when I was 15: the three surgeries were at ages 21, 25, and 29.
I also have had several mental health scares, breakdowns, and suicide attempts which were accompanied by psychiatric hospital stays. Finally, in June 2015, I was properly diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Severe Recurrent Depression Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
I take the medicine I need to take, but I also implement skills I learned through Dialectical Behavior Therapy to help me cope when I have difficulty regulating my emotions.
2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
My blog is called She Triumphs because whatever illness or disease or fracture has been given to me I refuse to let it win and I always find a way to Triumph, even in the pain. My blog’s primary purpose is to raise awareness for BPD because it is not a very well known disease and NAMI has some scary percentages of suicide rates correlating with the disease.
When you google the disease, mostly clinical stuff pops up and as a human, you can read it and get a basic understanding but there’s no connection. I want to connect with those who need someone who understands what very few people do.
3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I started blogging when my ex-husband returned from Iraq, and I dropped out of law school in 2009 so we could move to Texas for him to get his PhD. This was when blogging was just getting started, so none of what is around now really was around.
I connected with a group of bloggers (who are doing really well in their blogging life now) from Texas and was part of a community. However, when I got divorced I had difficulty writing about my lifestyle because it was unhealthy.
I didn’t get the urge to blog again until I received my diagnosis and decided this was my way of helping others and connecting.
4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
I try to post at least once a day during the work week. I tend to leave the Saturday/Sunday schedule alone. I also have guest posts during the week at times, which is nice.
I don’t really decide on the schedule, it kind of decides for me. I am getting my second master’s degree and I work at a law firm 4 day a week so things are usually pretty busy. However, I am trying to get more organized with producing my scheduled posts so I don’t freak out last minute when I have nothing to write about,
5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
Blogging has definitely benefitted me because I have connected with so many people in similar situations and that I can talk to who will understand me and won’t be scared to talk about the really hard things (emotions). There is this community of people who understand each other and have only met through their blogs and I think that’s fantastic.
6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
Well, I have multiple chronic illnesses and some of those are not seen to be real illnesses to a lot of people. For example, mental health has a stigma to it that needs to end so people feel comfortable speaking up and don’t feel the need to keep it in and eventually commit suicide. I want a safe space for those with mental illness. Also, having chronic back pain for 15 years makes it hard to complain to anyone else who doesn’t understand it. My mom was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s at 44 years old (17 years ago), and anything that was wrong with me would often be compared to her, not on purpose but that was just the situation.
7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
1. Write for yourself and don’t worry about followers – they will come if you speak your own truth.
2. Ignore the trolls. Don’t feed the beast of people who try to get you down. I like Bob Marley’s quote on this one. “Who are you to judge the life I live? I am not perfect and I don’t have to be! Before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean.”
3. Stay active on social media, but be authentic!