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 Rachel of A Life Less Invisible.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am currently pursuing a graduate degree from Gallaudet University in Social Work because social justice runs through my veins. Glitter also runs through my veins. I have four awesome cats: Blinken, Stanley, Marzipan, and Ziggy.
2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
My blog is called A Life Less Invisible. The purpose of my blog is to bring awareness to invisible illnesses.
3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I started blogging at the very end of December 2016. To say why I started the blog I have to rewind a bit to the fall of 2016. It was my first semester of graduate school, I was completely overwhelmed and beyond stressed out. My pain levels for my migraines and interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome) were off the charts. I was basically in non-stop pain 24/7 in ways that I can’t even begin to describe.
It was a huge game changer for me. I knew if I wanted to survive a 3-year graduate program I had to make some changes. I love journaling and I’ve kept a journal since the first grade so, to me, it is extremely therapeutic but there’s just not enough time when in graduate school to sit down and hand write about my life. So I thought I could just type it out and then I thought well I could just keep a private blog to keep it all in one place. Because I am a VERY private person.
At that point, most of my family still didn’t know about my health and many of my friends didn’t either. But that was no longer serving me in a healthy way. I made a decision to write a blog and make it public for the world to see, including my friends and family. And I thought what if this could help some other people who have chronic illnesses? I would be selfish of me to withhold it from them. So I ‘came out’ to all my family (aunts, uncles, cousins, mom, etc) as chronically ill. It was really hard but they all support me and they read my blog. And here we are.
4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
Originally I tried to post weekly, but between graduate school and my health, that didn’t work out. I moved to a bi-weekly schedule. But during the summer I will go back to weekly and try to write some more for the fall to be posted when I don’t have the time to write new posts.
5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
Blogging has absolutely benefitted me: 1. It is extremely therapeutic; 2. I don’t have this weight hanging around my neck worrying about hiding my health from people because I am extremely open about it and when I meet people I tell them about my blog so if they want to they can read it as well; 3. I have made some amazing new friends through blogging. The chronic illness community is vast and wide and delightful.
6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
On my blog in the about me section, I wrote why I picked the title A Life Less Invisible… “After a lot of brainstorming over the name of this blog, I landed on A Life Less Invisible, because I am trying to make my invisible chronic illnesses less invisible. I want more people to be aware of them. Not just for my sake, but for everybody’s sake. Too many people suffer silently with invisible chronic illness and they do so because of stigma. The stigma of a chronic illness that can’t be seen is overwhelming and isolating. We don’t have to allow people to stigmatize us into hiding our illness.”
7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
I’m still new at this so I probably need the tips lol but I would say: 1. Be honest and real: people who read it will know and connect with you -Add pictures to give readers something to look at -My posts are usually 800-1100 words…anything more and it might be too much to read.
1. Be honest and real: people who read it will know and connect with you.Add pictures to give readers something to look at -My posts are usually 800-1100 words…anything more and it might be too much to read.
2. Add pictures to give readers something to look at.My posts are usually 800-1100 words…anything more and it might be too much to read.
3. My posts are usually 800-1100 words…anything more and it might be too much to read.