8 February 2015

Guest Post: One Piece of Advice to a Chronic Illness Sufferer

Moving house brings about a naturally busy time for anybody but coupled with chronic illness makes for quite the uncertain and worrisome situation - c'est difficile. Last week I felt an incredible surge of glum wash over me, as I reluctantly came to the realisation that I wouldn't be able to give the love and attention that I perhaps would have wanted, to my blog during the change over. Just as I was sitting down with the intention to write out a short and sweet post explaining why I would be absent in the coming weeks, I had somewhat of a lightbulb moment and decided that instead of leaving this space to gather dust throughout February, apart from a very special something on the 14th wink-wink, that I would call upon a few of my talented and generous friends to pitch in and write some guest posts to keep things ticking along.

This one is from Em; a 24 year old beauty guru in the making and fellow chronic illness sufferer who, through the lower points over the last year, became one of my closest friends and a source of endless support - aren't I lucky? Emma documents her life with chronic illness and all that she has to say about anything and everything on her blog, Emma Drusilla. I'm actually really pleased that she was happy to write a guest post as it gives me the perfect opportunity to share her new, top-notch YouTube channel which, if you haven't already, I'd definitely urge you to give it a visit and big ol' hit of that subscribe button.

Hi to all of the lovely Rachel's followers! My name is Emma, I'm 24 and I suffer from ME. Thank you to Rachel for asking me to write this guest post today.

Before I was diagnosed with ME around two years ago, I had an active and normal social life. It wasn’t unusual for me to do a day at university, go for dinner afterwards, go to the pub in the evening the next day and, on the odd occasion, take the 15 mile trip into Brighton to go clubbing until the (not so) early hours. In doing this I had no second thoughts about energy, no second thoughts about the anxiety of feeling unwell or if who I was with would understand - as most people don’t.
Then ME struck and life very quickly changed. Feeling alone and misunderstood with an invisible illness, even my GP’s didn’t seem to know what was going on - so I turned to the internet. Googling turned to forums, forums turned to blogs and blogs turned to social media. After reading the blogs of very inspirational girls online I started following them on Instagram. I never imagined that this could have turned into an outpouring of support from the ‘spoonie’ community, many followers going through the same thing and most unbelievably, friends.

It’s easy to bond with someone who has been through an experience as unique as yours. To find people who know exactly what you’re going through is one thing but what took me most by surprise was how extraordinary each one of these people are and not just because of their illness or battle with adversity but because they are caring, insightful, hilarious, ambitious and so intelligent. We all live in various locations across the country, even across the world, and would never have met or become friends under any other circumstances but I feel so privileged to know them and be part of their community. It hurts to see such incredible people be held back by their illness, I can guarentee chronic illness is not the plight of the lazy, but it’s brilliant rooting for them and sharing in their triumph and successes.

When you have a chronic illness you get all sorts of advice. Advice from your Doctor to stop worrying; advice from your family to get out and have a walk; advice from strangers to try ‘magic pills’ because the Daily Mail says so. My advice to a new sufferer is simple: get online. Not only is there a whole community there with helpful first hand advice and experience but most importantly there are amazing people you are going to want to know.What brought us together was illness but what keeps us together is friendship - that’s a great medicine. x

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