This question is one I know the answer to immediately but is probably going to be the hardest blog post to write yet. I’m just going to say and get it out there and then I will explain it a little more. It’s hard to say because I’m not the kind of person who likes to talk about myself in this way. I’ve had to learn how to do it in interviews in the past, but other than that I don’t really do it.
The way I help others have hope is by being me! There I’ve said it. I’m so full of positivity through such a bitch of a situation (and I am only that positive because of my husband and children and close friends that keep me there by the way) and I decided to write about it. I only ever chose to write about it because I wanted to raise awareness and find myself something that I could do when all the things that I loved doing were slowly being taken away from me because of my illness making it impossible to do them. I never write or share posts for sympathy!
- My friends- these were the first people to read it. They are generally talking to me about my blog in terms of how I cope so amazingly with such a tough situation and write with brutal honesty but still keep a sense of humour that it gives them hope for me and my family and our future. I have even had suggestions that I should write a book when I’m well because my writing is so powerful. Some friends, some that I don’t even know so well in some cases, have since begun sharing their own stories about different things they were going through and how our positivity gave them inspiration whilst coping with their own situations.
- My fellow sufferers-next I shared my blog with migraine sufferers through our MIssion MIgraine Facebook page and my IIH support group. Fellow sufferers saw similarities between their life and mine. Some couldn’t believe how unwell I was and how little treatment I was getting whilst I wait and wait for my specialists to come up with the right treatment plan; yet still I remained positive. Friends I had already made gave me hope in the comments they wrote to encourage me to keep writing and that ricocheted into hope spreading to other sufferers who could see that if ‘I could do it, they could’!
- My peers-other blog writers have given me amazing feedback about how my positivity shines through in what must be a very difficult situation. I have even been able to share ideas and ways to tackle depression and lack of hope to others in chronic pain and I hope as my followers grow that I will be able to continue to do this where I can.
- Most recently-my husband’s peers and colleagues. He spoke about our story as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. You can read the transcript of this talk and my observations around it here https://laughingwhileyourecrying.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/why-does-sharing-our-story-matter-should-we-just-tell-friends-and-family-or-should-we-share-with-peers-colleagues-and-other-sufferers-too/ he has had many people speak to him about how his positivity has given them hope and I have had a few new followers and even a couple of messages.
My role as Tweeter for Mission Migraine has allowed me to reach out to even more people and now joining in the blogging challenge has extended that even further. I am gaining hope by reading posts from so many experienced advocates and great bloggers and I hope that my blog is inspiring other participants too. Even though I’m from the UK; Mission Migraine is an open group and has many members from the US and that is why I decided to join the blogging challenge. It has opened many new doors labelled ‘hope’ for me and so I just hope that my blogs can return the favour.
The Migraine and a Headache Awareness Month Blogging Challenge is organised by The American Headache and Migraine Association