Thank you all so much for sending through your questions for March – they are brilliant! I’ve tried to answer them the best I can in this Q&A on blogs & chronic illness, so here we go…
Q&A : Your Questions Answered
> Ben – My question is, in what you believe ?
I’m not religious, but I feel everyone has a right to believe in whatever they wish. Instead, I believe in the goodness of people and the strength we have to overcome adversity.
> Comedy Plus – If you could change one thing in your life what would it be?
I would have a golden retriever!
> Rachel at The Daisy Pages – If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Japan – I don’t think I’ll ever make it there, but I think it would be a fantastic place to visit.
> Terri at Reclaiming Hope – What is one thing you would like for people to know about you?
I don’t ‘look sick’. I may seem ‘fine’, but you don’t see what’s going on with my body. I struggle, as do most of us with chronic, ‘invisible’ illness, and it can get tiring trying to seem okay & feeling judged for how the outside doesn’t match the inside. Nor do the appearances we put on for others match how we feel or reflect our lives at home from day to day.
> Angela – What has having a chronic illness helped you learn about yourself?
I did a post recently about what my invisible illness(es) have taught me. I’ve learned various things & they’ve shaped me in positive ways; it’s hard to see the good when struggle with chronic illness, but they’ve helped me learn that I’m more resilient and empathic. They’ve also helped me learn that I struggle a lot with issues of self-care, guilt and over-thinking, which have all been made worse and are areas I still need to work on.
> Lindsay at Dysautonomiac – What are you most proud of?
This I find quite hard to answer and I’m struggling to think of anything. Perhaps my degree, but most recently my blog as I started this with no intention of keeping of it going at first, I simply wanted to see if I could give it a go to say I’d tried blogging. And now here we are! 🙂
> If you could have any job (and were healthy), what would you do?
A clinical psychologist would be my first choice. Followed by a counsellor, forensic psychologist and FBI agent (I read too many crime thrillers…)
> Dennis at Highway Pi -What was something you accomplished that felt particularly significant because of what you had to overcome to accomplish it?
I would probably have to say my Psychology degree, which I self-taught via the Open University. I had saved money, left my job and taken to full time study, as this was the point where I felt my life crumbling. My health problems had just started, I left a long term relationship, and life felt like a constant battle. I enjoyed the degree and although I’m still painfully sad that I’m not making use of it, nor was able to take it further, I’m proud to have achieved a First Class hons award from it.
> What is something you’re a fan of that people would be surprised to know, for whatever reason?
I love 90s cheese and relish solo car journeys where I can sing along like a maniac while driving.
> Rachel at The Invisible Hypothyroidism – What are your current health struggles? Mental and physical or even other?
Mentally, my anxiety is quite high at the moment. Physically, fatigue is a big problem at present. I’m also not sleeping well at all, and pain is quite disruptive to everyday life. I’m getting over the chest infection but my damaged ribs are still painful, too. I’m still waiting on a surgery date for the stoma revision surgery.
> Viola at Viola’s Daily Musings – What was the best/worst thing that happened to you regarding your blog?
An interesting question! I think the best thing is the community I’ve become a part of as I’ve ‘met’ lots of fantastic bloggers and readers, for which I’m incredibly grateful. The worst thing? Perhaps the pressure I feel to write and keep the blog updated, which drives up my anxiety quite considerably because there are far too many days where I feel exhausted and my brain is mush.
> Brigid at Watching The Daisies – What do you feel are the gifts of chronic illness?
A great question because trying to find the positives can be incredibly difficult, yet so important, when dealing with chronic illness. I would say the resilience, compassion, empathy and perspective that are developed over time when dealing with illness. We can grow and cope and learn continually, and hopefully these things can serve us well when looking after ourselves and supporting others.
> Wendy at Picnic With Ants – What’s your favorite “guilty pleasure’?
I’d combine trashy films with Lindt Lindor chocolate. Yum!
> Jay at Assholes Watching Movies – Unicorns or mermaids?
Unicorns. I’m not a fan of fish and mermaids are too fish-esque for my liking.
> Kathy at K E Garland – How do you define spirituality?
This is a tricky one, but perhaps the belief in something bigger than ourselves. A connection to the earth, to nature, mankind and beyond.
> AnnaLisa at The Worry Games – My question is what is Caz? Is that a nickname, initials, birth name, middle name, or pen name?
I’ve been known as Caz since high school. I’m not entirely sure who came up with it, but it stuck and that’s how most people have known me ever since. I feel I identify more with Caz than Carol.
> Sophie at Hopeless Wonderer – What do you enjoying writing about most on your blog?
I quite enjoy positivity posts, trying to unearth a little motivation and encouragement for the difficult times. I also like writing mini me updates, where I often share the challenges I face and how I also struggle, because I think it’s important to be honest and let others know things aren’t easy, that you’re not alone, and that it’s okay to admit when you’re finding things hard.