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 Jennifer of A Flare With Flair.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am 46 years old, married and a mother of 3 wonderful children who are 17, 11 and 9 years old. I love writing, reading and going to fun action and science fiction movies with my husband. I especially enjoy Yoga and my health has improved greatly from taking classes 5-6 days a week. I have been learning to meditate through guided meditations and breath meditation. I live with chronic pain from having Lupus, dermatomyositis, Sjogren’s and small fiber neuropathy.
2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
My blog is titled A Flare With Flair. My purpose is to help those who suffer from chronic pain whether they have been diagnosed or are yet to be diagnosed and live with that frustration as well. I do not want people to feel that their life is over once they have chronic pain and have been diagnosed with a chronic illness. In fact, I want people to know that they can thrive and find an even more satisfying life by re-examining what they can do to stay healthy, what things they can do to lead a purposeful life and what makes them happy. In addition, I write about common situations that we all face as people who live with chronic pain and we can commiserate, as well as laugh, over the situations in which we all have been stuck in with family, friends, doctors and ourselves.
3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I have been blogging for just over 3 months. I blog for many reasons. First, I find blogging to be very cathartic and therapeutic for myself. Equally important is the people that I help. I have received comments and responses that my readers really relate to my stories, find my posts valuable, and they have changed for the better after reading them.
4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
I post 3 times per week. I usually post on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s. I like to keep a consistent schedule for my readers and for myself.
5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
Blogging has enriched my life in so many ways. When I am writing, I am in a euphoric zone and expressing myself through words is very fulfilling to me. In addition, getting feedback from others who have been able to turn a negative into a positive, get a good laugh, or try a new tactic to help with their emotional or physical pain means that I have touched someone’s life. Making people’s lives better through writing has always been a goal of mine and now that it is coming true, I feel profoundly fulfilled.
6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
Chronic illness and pain are often silent and invisible diseases. Blogging about chronic pain and chronic illness helps bring awareness to the disease and the pain in which so many of us are affected by. It encourages the health community to focus on assisting those in need of relief. Also, it helps friends and family members to know what we go through so that they can further understand and empathize with our constant pain and illness. Sometimes when one person suffers from an “invisible illness” it is hard for their friends and family to understand and accept their pain and limitations. However, when they can see that thousands and millions of people are suffering, family members, friends and employers may realize that it is not “all in our mind” but true illness that causes real limitations in life and the need for support and understanding.
7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
1) Write about what you know. Write your story, your experiences, and the post will flow easily.
2) Do your research. If you are using facts or symptoms about particular illnesses, percentages, and statistics, make sure to use a legitimate source to gather your information.
3) Love what you do. If you find meaning in your posts and feel like you are reaching out and helping others, keep writing.