Friday, February 13, 2015

#ChronicLife Wrap Up

A few weeks back, Britt aka the Hurt Blogger had an idea based off a conversation - to live tweet 48 hours of her #chroniclife.

Before I get into anything, I want to share a few links - you can check out Britt's tweets here and tweets from other peeps like myself here. You can also read Britt's wrap up here and check out others she's linked to. You can check out the ongoing tweeting here.

Live tweeting my illness related issues was very telling. For me it opened up things I was repressing. It's one thing to have your rheumatologist tell you that you're banned from yoga and have to step back to water therapy, but it's another thing to stop being in denial and realize how very right she is.

I think we spend so much of our time censoring ourselves because what we want to say isn't popular or polite. Or, as many found during this exercise, we feel whiny when we share about our pain. We think it makes us complainers and nobody likes complainers!

Personally I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I ignore a LOT of pain in my day to day life. Obviously that's exacerbated with my hip issues right now, but still. I was more aware of the pain because I was more focused on it. It was honestly a mindfulness exercise for me. It gave me an opportunity to check in with my body in a way I hadn't done in a LONG time.
I shared a lot about my morning routine when I'm feeling okay-ish or when I don't have a choice.

I didn't realize just how much energy I spend on trying to look normal. Most days it honestly doesn't matter, but that one it did. I had a meeting to discuss applying to serve on a PCORI panel which was well timed with this experiment.

Writing this way, using a stream of consciousness, allowed me to share a lot of things I don't normally share, like pictures of my bra... which got furiously retweeted despite the lack of boobs in said bra.
As someone who deals with moderate depression and general anxiety disorder as well, I was able to share a lot more on those issues than I have in the past. I hope to continue to shed light on how my chronic illnesses and upbringing affect my mind.

It's interesting just how many people can be judgmental about mental illness, even those who also suffer with it.

I also got to share what keeps me moving when I'm feeling crummy.

And thanks to my Fitbit display, everyone knows what I weigh. I oddly don't care anymore haha.

This exercise brought up a lot more feels than I thought it would honestly. It both brought me together with others living with chronic illness, but also made me realize just how much of an individual I am. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but interesting.

My new job has changed some of the things I'll write about in the future, just like this experiment has. I hope to bring more research oriented information in addition to talking more about my depression, anxiety, and fears.

I want to start taking one day a week to tweet out information related to #chroniclife. Everyone hates Mondays, so maybe I'll start there.

I would encourage you to join the #chroniclife movement and see how much you'll learn about yourself.

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