Blogging with chronic illness

Hiya pickles! Today I want to talk about blogging when you have a debilitating illness. Most of the time when I write I edit what I say a zillion times before I post it but I don't have the energy for self-editing today so this might be a bit ugly.

Blogging has challenges for all of us in different ways. We all have other things going on in our lives apart from our blogs - be it jobs, children to look after, or in my case health challenges, which is what I'm going to talk about today. (I have Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and depression, for any people new to me. Hi!)

I'm a Type A person, which is probably why I got so ill in the first place. I hold myself up to ridiculous standards (way above what I'd expect of anyone else) and this means I spend a lot of my time beating myself up for all the things I want to do with my blog but can't, and realisations I know to be true about my blog/myself.

I don't look really polished in my blog photos. I spend about half of every day in bed asleep or trying to be, so when I am up, I don't have a huge amount of time to do my make up or make myself look pretty. After taking care of myself, the flat and my adorable-but-lazy husband everything is rushed. Hair, make up, the whole shebang. Rushed, rushed, rushed. I look at some people who look like a Hollywood bombshell in every photo and feel like a sack of microwaved shite with my bedraggled hair, creased up clothes and palpable lack of energy.

This means some brands don't want to work with me as a blogger. The way I see it there are two types of bloggers - aspirational and inspirational. The aspirational ones make you look at their gorgeous selves/clothes/make up/lives and make you want to buy everything they wear. They don't tend to talk about their lives too much, professionally keeping it to the business of looking beautiful and giving the illusion of living a fairy tale. I can see why brands have their favourite bloggers from this group. Who needs reality when the dream sells? That's how it works. 

Then there's me, who looks like mangled afterbirth more days than not but has a go anyway. I'm not at all up myself so I don't want to describe myself as inspirational, but I fall into the camp where YES I WILL share all the sad, weird, ugly crap going on in my life and stand here in front of a camera knowing it's not my best, but it's the best I can do TODAY. You know, it's not at all pretty, but it is real.

There are some companies I've supported for years, endlessly buying their clothes, but I'm not their cup of tea. I used to try to reach out to these companies when I wore their clothes to let them know, but I'm over it now because it doesn't work like that. I had it all wrong. It doesn't matter if you've been a loyal customer since day one, they don't care if you've never bought an item of theirs in your life. You look good in it, you'll do, and 'good' means below a size 26 and in your 20s, by the way. Ooh, bitchy. Saucer of milk for me, then. ;)

I have way more ideas than energy. I have ideas up the wazoo. I never have a shortage of ideas for posts, in fact I'm swimming in them. What I do have is a distinct lack of energy to write and photograph these posts, so they go into the huge backlog of Things To Beat Myself Up About. That list is miles long.

I'm not consistent. Because I never know how I'm going to feel on any given day it's very hard to keep to a regular posting schedule. Sometimes I can whack out 3-4 posts a day and schedule them away merrily, and other times I'm lucky if I look at my blog 3 times a week.

I always want to do more. I always want to do more, be more, be able to go to more events and suchlike, but my head forgets the crap my body goes through on a daily basis when I make such comparisons. To use a metaphor if blogging is a big swimming race, I've got wrist and ankle weights on. Other people are always going to get to the other side quicker than me, but at least I'm still in the race.

Do you ever feel like something is holding you or your blog back?

Thanks for listening.

No comments