For those of you who don't know, I suffer from a veritable smorgasbord of illness', diseases, syndromes and ailments. It took me a long time to make my peace with it and learn that it doesn't define me and it's only in the last year or so that I have been brave enough to come "out of the closet" and write about it.
I'm not a crusader by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have unending sympathy for anyone who suffers from a chronic illness. So what is a chronic illness? Well the list is long, but in short, the definition is a long-lasting condition that can be controlled but not cured.
You may wonder why I am writing about this now as my usual bloggy fare is somewhat lighter, involves lots of instagram photos, some of my latest drawings or a memes of Nicolas Cage. Well the answer is that I wrote something a while ago that changed everything. An essay about me and what it is to be me. In a moment of rare ballsiness, (totally a word) I submitted it to a book that was being compiled by two of my personal blog heroes, the awesomely funny Jessica from Herd Management and the equally hilarious Alyson from The Shitastrophy called Surviving Mental Illness Through Humour. I sent it, spiralled between self doubt and high-fiving myself and then continued on with my life.
I spend so much of my day trying to manage the symptom du jour, that the last thing I generally want is to write about is how crap it is to live with chronic illness. The truth is that my life is not crap, it's actually pretty great. Sure, sometimes my body hates me and I'll I have a panic attack over the most ridiculous things (most recent one was they'd moved my bread in my local super market to an alternate reality, so obviously I lost my mind). There are days when you can find my sobbing on the bathroom floor with the door locked (we don't have many doors in our house, so this is a luxury) the washing machine on spin cycle and the fan on, to drown out the screaming tantrum of my daughter. Desperately I'll control my breathing, pull myself together and wash my 'cry' face because on the other side of the door is a toddler who couldn't give a shit about my pain or anxiety as her drama is equally as real and she hasn't had the amount of therapy I've had to learn how to handle it.
Months after writing this essay I'd put it out of my mind. Then last week,in the middle of a really shitty Monday afternoon, I received a surprise email to say that I had been chosen to be part of this amazing project. Say what now? I'm currently fluctuating between hyperventilating because I am so out of my depth among these giants of Blogland and being utterly humbled that they thought I had something to say, worthy enough to be published. I've seen my name on the list now, next to some stunning writers and bloggers and can't quite believe that there's me, tucked in between them too.
It's kind of laughable really, I feel a bit like the estranged European cousin. These guys get thousands of hits on their blogs and have an absurd amount of followers on Twitter and Facebook. To date, my freshly minted Twitter has twenty five! I'm still all about the drawing random shit and doing crafty stuff and posting it on Facebook, Cupcaking when I can at The Sleazy Bakeshop (my other blog - this is also returning from it's hiatus), but I will actually be writing about some of the stuff I suffer from on a daily basis and the disasters and trouble it gets me in. Well that is the plan anyway. Now my head cold has got the better of me and wording is hard. I'm off to entertain two toddlers with fresh churro waffles and Thomas the Tank Engine (Toddler #2 imported due to stomach flu parents. We all know stomach flu trumps crappy head cold)