Have you ever had one of those moments when you feel like giving up? It is after all January – a time to contemplate our lives and reflect on what lies ahead and what has gone before. Giving things up is par for the course. A means of getting ourselves through the dark, cold, booze-less days of ‘the month’ when the fairy lights went out.
One of the things I was debating last week was my blog. I haven’t been a blogger for very long. It all started on a whim last summer and kind of grew from there. I found my ‘voice’ (if you can call it that) in the autumn when I realised that it might be a good idea to use my love of writing to support others in our situation. Certainly not a new idea but I became increasingly aware of how little people knew about myelofibrosis and I thought it might be a good idea to shout about it. So in a very unme like way I opened up my heart and a window to one very important area of my life and livingwithmyelo.com was born.
The response has been positive and I’ve really enjoyed writing about something that not many people seem to know about. It’s also been a comfort to me and my family – to have an outlet to process the events of the last few years and find some respite.
But last week I started to have some doubts. They began to creep in slowly and steadily. I wondered if what I was writing was a bit samey and boring. I began to imagine the comments of readers.
‘It’s that blood cancer woman again.’
‘Boo hoo. Bad luck. Get over it.’
‘We don’t need to hear about it again.’
I questioned what I was doing. I began looking at other bloggers, pro bloggers with their vlogs (eh?), their swanky adverts, their guest blogs, their reviews, their competitions, their glossy photos. Quite honestly exploring the minefield of blogging made me feel like switching off my laptop and returning to the private scribbles in the safety of my notebook. I felt comfortable there and the pattern and groove of the page made me happy.
I said to my husband, ‘I’m not sure where I am going with this. I might not carry on.’ You see I just want to write. To make people feel better. To share comfort and stories. I can’t really be bothered with the other stuff.
Then last Sunday the lovely Bloodwise featured my patient blog on Facebook. I wasn’t expecting it. In fact it was a bit of a shock. I spotted a picture of my family in the news-feed and was a bit taken aback. There we were, innocently smiling at the world. I clicked the link and was completely bowled over by what I found. Hundreds of likes and shares and a whole raft of comments. Positive, supportive, upbeat, uplifting, motivating words of support. Wonderful comments cheering us on and offering us love and comfort.
The penny dropped. This is exactly why I am doing this. It’s not about website hits or getting recognition – that doesn’t fit the purpose or me for that matter. No it’s about reaching out a hand, showing people they’re not alone. A bit like those unknown faces and their thoughts did for us that day.
Anyone feel like talking?