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 Mary of The Headache Heroine.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m 23 and have been living with headache disorders since I was about 12-13 years old. What started out as the occasional exertion-induced migraine, developed into a daily chronic headache when I was bout 21. That means, no day with 0/10 pain. What is a zero?
More recently, I’ve been diagnosed with mild hypermobility Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, mild POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), anaphylactic food allergies and narcolepsy without cataplexy. Needless to say, I don’t lead the “normal” active lifestyle that most people my age do.
While I am able to go out and let loose with my friends every once in a while, some months I see doctors more often than I do friends. Last year, I struggled with pain more than I ever have. For a few months, I was experiencing headaches like I had never experienced before. This brought about some mental and emotional breakdowns.
My blog and Instagram accounts developed because I needed an outlet for my frustration. Me getting my frustrations out turned into me sharing my story and connecting with other people who faced similar issues as myself. I always thought that I was alone in my struggles, and when I started The Headache Heroine, I discovered that I was anything but alone.
I grew a community of support and encouragement and saw such positive feedback. I was inspired to help others and to show people like me that they were not alone, as I once thought I was.
2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
My blog is called The Headache Heroine. My blog holds a couple of purposes. It is meant to help others who face chronic issues similar to me, by me sharing my experiences. It is meant to help others feel supported and encouraged, by me spreading positive words and stories. It is meant to make people who are facing battles of their own feel NOT alone. It is meant to raise awareness for chronic and invisible illnesses and to bring to light what it means to live with one.
3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I have been blogging for about a year and a half now. I started my blog in order to create an outlet of sorts for myself. I’ve always loved to write and one day, my older sister (whom I lived with at the time and could see my constant pain and frustration) suggested that I take my experiences with headaches & migraines and write about it. I thought “why didn’t I think of that earlier?” So that’s exactly what I did.
4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
I try to post at least once a week. I used to post more, but with a full-time day job and my other job of taking care of my health, it can become hard to post more than that.
5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
Blogging has benefited me in more ways than I thought possible. It has been sort of a “therapy” for me if you will. It has also helped me connect to so many inspiring people. It has also opened doors to opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten had I started my blog.
6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
It’s important to raise awareness about these conditions that do not get the attention they deserve. It’s also important to raise awareness of the people who battle them–we are warriors and I am proud to say that. It’s important to help each other stay positive because living with a chronic illness can bring so much unwanted & inevitable negativity and disappointment into our lives.
7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
1. Allow yourself to take a break every once in a while. Writer’s block is normal–allow yourself time to rest so you don’t burn out.
2. Be responsive & proactive! Reply to comments from followers but also seek out other blogs and comment on posts of blogs you admire.
3. Create a realistic schedule for yourself. Before I got a full-time job, I was posting probably 4-5 times a week. But that schedule is unrealistic for me with a full-time job. Do what you can and don’t overdo it.