chronic illness · chronic pain · writings

happy birthday blog!

Well gee wiz guys,

This here little blog of mine is ONE years old today!

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I have written about my life in some shape or fashion for a long time.

I had two cow print  journals in 5th and 6th grade where I wrote all my secrets and fears. As I got older I filled books made of homemade paper with poetry and teenage angst. After a few years of hating computers (not now haha!) I started my own online journal at 17 at Diaryland. That would be the gateway to writing online consistently on the site livejournal from age 2002-2009 (Holla if you remember dirty_truth and likeshesaid!)

I’m not sure why I stopped writing but slowly, it just wasn’t something I wanted to do anymore.

I tried to start one up again a few times but it never stuck.

Last March I wrote a guest piece on my BFF’s blog and another about powerlessness for a 12 step newsletter. It reminded me how writing can feel REALLY good and cathartic but I was still hesitant to try and start anything up out of fear that I wouldn’t keep at it or that people would think my blog was dumb. I know…big surprise that Genevieve is worried about what other’s think of her. SHOCKING.

I am unsure if I ever would have started another blog on my own but one of my friends decided to make this one for me as surprise after I wrote about a discouraging trip on a train on my Facebook. (Jkrew-you are awesome and even though we don’t see one another much anymore I am so glad that you and Kate are in my life and I can’t wait for you guys to meet Sean and for us to meet sweet Liam. xoxo.)

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This blog has honestly been life changing and that feels dumb to say but its true so whatever.

The first half 0f 2015 was so very hard.

Our home was not at all wheelchair-friendly, our bedroom was upstairs, and due to often being completely unable to walk, I lived upstairs in our room only crawling downstairs once or twice a week so Sean could help me shower and get dressed. I lost track of what day it was if I didn’t have a dr appointment and spent many spans of weeks inside because I couldn’t wear any kind of shoes. It’s hard to be isolated and harder still be in immense pain and isolated. The only faces I regularly saw were those of my husband and my home nurse. Suicide became a theme I considered way too often.

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My blog allowed me to reach out.

It allowed me to share with people things I couldn’t completely share on my Facebook or articulate through a text or explain through a picture on Instagram. After months of isolation, I felt seen and I felt heard. I was able to let all of you into my life and in return, people I have never met have let me into theirs. Somehow in writing words on a screen and then pressing post, I have felt less alone, less scared, and more sure that perhaps I should stick around a little bit longer.

I have always loved writing and once I am feeling better and driving, I have plans to take some writing classes just to polish up my writing (my grammar is awful…always has been). Since starting to write here regularly, I have been able to have my writing published a few places  and that has just been such a huge huge huge honor. I have also been astonished to have a few people contact me about wanting to help me maybe somehow write a memoir or an e-book. That in itself is incredibly flattering…and also terrifying!

In a funny way, blogging has also given me some structure.

Not working is really hard for me and my brain. I like to stay busy and feel accomplished but not being to do much but lay down is no fun. Its downright boring honestly. Once I hit my groove with blogging, I wrote pretty much every day last summer and into the fall. I was able to dedicate parts of my long days in bed/couch to getting next week’s Things I Love Thursday ready or trying to draft a blog about something important to me. All of a sudden I had something to do and it felt like I was doing something more worthwhile than scrolling Facebook/instagram/reddit or binge-watching trashy tv while IVIG pumped into my veins.

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IVIG. photo by the amazing beautiful jewel peach. you can see more photos from that day here

Last month I wrote a blog about my Lyme Disease was finally in remission and very dear friend “shared” the blog on her Facebook.

Two people commented, one woman whose husband is sick with Lyme and one woman who is sick with Lyme. Both comments touched me to my core because my blog about being in remission gave them both hope. Knowing that I could place an invisible hand on a stranger’s metaphorical shoulder and squeeze and say gently “It does get better”…THAT is why I write and that is why this blog means so much to me.

I write and share because I want others who are in similar situations to not feel so alone as I know that loneliness all too well. I bare my soul so other people can better understand chronic pain and how it can affect your life and hopefully have more compassion if someone they love becomes sick. I write openly because it has helped me greatly in the past as I struggled through my eating disorder and I need some of that same inner strength and clarity right now as I travel through this portion of my life inside this body.

In all honesty (because whats a blog without honesty) some people in my life have not been a fan of my blogging.

Mainly I think a few people have not wanted me to identify as JUST being sick through my blogging. I understand that and try to keep that in mind when I write or even post on social media. I DON’T want to just be viewed as being sick because I am a whole lot of things beside that. This crappy body stuff is all temporary and not what makes me ME.   I stopped blogging last winter due to someone close to me saying some things about my blog and how much I was sharing. In those few silent months where I didn’t write, I realized that I really missed it and that blogging for me has very beneficial effects on my life and how I process things.

I made a promise to myself when I started this blog that I would not let Ship with No Sails just be about being sick.

That being said, my life in general for the past 4.5+ years is completely woven and entangled into my chronic illnesses and chronic pain. There’s little in my life that hasn’t changed due to my health be it my job, my marriage, the clothes I can wear, or the food I can or can’t eat. I get frustrated when I want to write about something else but because my life is just still really “small” right now…I often can’t think of what to share that isn’t directly related to my current health situation.

I know that will change.

I know that with time I will be writing less and less about my health and more and more about adventures with my husband, giving kickass facials, doing yoga, making brides feel beautiful, walks with my dogs, hikes with my best friends, and perhaps if the stars align, one day being a mom.

For the time being I try to “liven” things up with Things I Love Thursday and random makeup and skincare posts. I want to bring back Music Monday even though I think no one really cared haha. I have been doing a lot of reading and I really want to take this blog to the next level. Not quite sure how I am going to do it…but I am! If you have ideas of other things you would like me to write about…comment below!

For those who have read regularly, thank you. For those who randomly found me on google searching for something else but decided to stick around thank you. For those who don’t necessarily agree with all that I share but support me anyways, thank you.

This blog is nothing special but it means the world to me.

Much love to you all and thanks for supporting me in this creative journey.

xogen

2 thoughts on “happy birthday blog!

  1. Your words are beautiful and purposeful. I am so honored to know you, to be with you on this journey and to have the privilege of reading the raw, honest painful, beautiful truth that you share.

    Never stop writing.

    You spoke about gratitude this morning. I am grateful for you. For this. For all you bring to the world. <3 Kelly

  2. I’m very happy you’re writing again. I’ve always enjoyed reading your words (holla to lj!) and I’m glad I get a peek into your world again.

    Sending lots and lots of love from a 13ish year internet friend. <3

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