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 Cass of Indisposed and Undiagnosed.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Cass and I am twenty-three years of age. I have been formally diagnosed with Gastroparesis, Postherpetic Neuralgia and Reactive Depression, and am suffering from multiple additional symptoms, assumed to be as result of my double-Shingles outbreak in mid 2014. I used to be a Childcare Educator, and also have my qualification in professional Writing and Editing. I stopped writing in 2012, when I began my journey working with children. I stopped working with children at the end of 2014, as I never recovered from my double-episode of Shingles. I began writing again in early 2015.
2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
My blog is titled Indisposed and Undiagnosed, for the pure reason that when I began it, I was undiagnosed and definitely felt lost and alone. My blog’s sole purpose is to speak the truth behind Chronic Illness that often isn’t spoken of. I speak honestly and realistically, and that is why I have accumulated many followers. Readers can turn to my blog for advice, reassurance, and confirmation that it is okay to fall into the pit of all feelings, (negative and positive) associated with chronic illness
3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I began writing in early 2015, to help myself through the roller coaster that is chronic illness. I started for myself, as a way of releasing all of the frustration, uncertainty and loneliness that I felt. A year of writing, and my purpose has changed. I find myself writing more to spread awareness and guide fellow sufferers of ALL chronic illnesses.
4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
I used to post seven days in a row, then cut back to two or three due to the volume of messages and comments I received. Blogging is enjoyable and life changing, but overwhelming. I found myself posting so much, that I was exhausted. I don’t post as regularly anymore, but my old popular blogs still receive a lot of attention, and the comments keep me focused.
5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
In multiple ways, I have reaped benefits. I have a safe haven of fellow sufferers who understand the darkness behind my words on the worst of symptom days; I have made lifelong friendships worldwide; I have refund my love for writing and educating; I have proved to myself that whilst I might not have physical strength, I do have mental strength and that is all you need to get through this journey.
6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
I would ultimately love for society to take notice of those who are suffering in silence. Whilst writing, I am trying to pave the way for future sufferers, in hope that they won’t have to experience half of the grief that I have endured. We have the ability to educate society in something that is not entirely common; to teach them to show respect and empathy towards those who are invisibly ill and struggling, through our words.
7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
1. Don’t sugar coat your experience. How can we spread awareness for our diseases, when we aren’t shedding light on the most important aspects of it?
2. Be honest in your writing – even if that means ten negative, depressing posts before you reach that one post that is more “positive”.
3. You must read other people’s blogs in order to gain followers. There is no point writing, and wondering why you don’t have large views or pending comments. Read the stories of others, and contact them. Show them that you are interested and can relate.
In the meantime, keep writing, even if you don’t have a lot of followers. Followers come in time. Readers need to connect with your work first. Be your own advocate for your blog, and for your illness. There is no point sitting at home, letting time pass and feeling sorry for yourself because you lack readers and feel that your body is against you. Find the tiniest bit of inner strength, create multiple accounts on social media and start sharing your story! Social media is a lifesaver for chronically ill sufferers!