Writing About the Negatives in My Life Does Not Make Me 'More Ill'


Since being diagnosed with multiple physical health conditions as well as depression and anxiety, I have started writing about my experiences. The aim being to not only raise awareness of what we go through as chronic illness warriors and let other people going through the same know they’re not alone, but to also have an outlet for what I go through. 

It’s true, I’ve been told that my blog and Mighty articles have helped others to realize that they may have the same physical and/or mental health conditions as me. I’ve also been told that they’ve helped other patients realize they’re not alone. As have I been told that they’ve helped those who know someone with these conditions to understand what we go through.

 

But I also write for me. It’s an outlet for my frustration and helps me feel calmer when I’m going through a particularly tough patch with chronic and/or mental illness.

But a few people lately have taken to telling me that my writing is making me more ill. Their idea being that because I’m focusing on the negatives and “bathe” in my health conditions, it reinforces them in my mind. I “become what I do” apparently. Because that’s how it works. 

If I “think positive” it’ll all get so much better, right? I’ll feel less ill, less down about it and happily skip through life nice and easily.

Not really. It’s an outlet for me. Sure, I write some stuff that might seem negative or “focusing on the bad things” at times, but if you read what I’ve written, you’d also know I write positive posts, too.

I do believe there’s probably some psychology in the idea, but believe me when I tell you that’s not how it works for me. Before I started writing and was just going through the trials and tribulations of my health, I felt alone, frustrated and lost. Writing about it, I’ve met others who are in the same or similar boat and I feel calmer.

I don’t become what I write, I write about what I’ve already become.

I cover all sides of living with chronic illnesses and I write about what I’m going through at that particular time in my life. It’s kind of the point in a blog. I don’t hide anything, I cover the ups and downs. Getting that out onto a page is therapeutic for me and it opens up dialogue for discussion on chronic and mental health, which we need. We need to be talking about it.

woman standing on a cliff overlooking the ocean at sunset

I’m fed up with people only wanting to know the happy parts of others’ lives and so they brush the dark times under the carpet, as if we should be ashamed of them. They’re supportive when I write more positive posts but should I dare be honest about something difficult I may be going through and I’m “making myself more ill” or “basking in my problems.” Who are they to make such judgments about me?

I’ll keep writing for me, but also for those patients who feel less alone when they stumble across my writing and so friends and family members can understand that little bit more about what their loved one is going through and open up dialogue.

Follow this journey on The Invisible Hypothyroidism.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Chronic Illness

medical bill statement next to calculator and stethoscope

What I Think Politicians Forget When They Promise Health Coverage to Those With Continuous Insurance

Editor’s note: This story reflects an individual’s experience and is not an endorsement from The Mighty. We believe in sharing a variety of perspectives from our community. Today I received a letter from my insurance company telling me they will no longer be offering individual health plans in 2018. They indicated that my options going [...]
woman sitting outside leaning against a tree and reading

Please Don't Compare Me to Who I Was Before Chronic Illness

Imagine this: Somebody gives you a plant to look after and you try your best to care for it but still, it starts to die. Gradually turning an ugly shade of brown as leaves start to fall off and the stem starts to wilt. No matter how hard you try, you can’t save this plant, [...]

Your Wife Has Chronic Fatigue? Here Are 22 Ways to Support Her.

If you have a partner, spouse or loved one in your life with chronic fatigue, it can be difficult to understand exactly what they’re going through unless you’ve experienced it yourself. They likely require much more time sleeping or resting than you and may not feel up to going out very often. Chronic fatigue (note that chronic [...]
An art piece of a sad girl sitting on a swing, hanging from an empty tree.

The Hardest Part of Being Diagnosed With Chronic Illness as a Teenager

Chronic illness is hard. There are many things that I would like to be doing that I can’t. The pain can be debilitating, the fatigue is less than ideal, and I’ve become way too accustomed to medication side effects. But the truth is, I’ve come to be accepting of the limitations that chronic illness places [...]