Friday, 17 June 2011

We need to talk: on finding my voice and the importance of talking about everything

A lot has happened with me in the last three years; things that have fundamentally changed my life, my outlook and my priorities.  I have become a (single) parent.  I have taken voluntary redundancy from a long-term job and am now working independently.  And I have been diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis (a chronic and often debilitating autoimmune disease). 

And for three years I have been a lurker.  I have looked online for people with similar experiences, and have taken great comfort and reassurance from what I have found, and I am not alone - apparently  '1 in 4 internet users who experienced a recent medical crisis went online to find someone like them:' (via @SusannahFox!/SusannahFox/status/72742618563493888).  If anything, I am surprised the figure is not higher.

Up until now, I have not been ready to talk much about my own experience. but increasingly I feel it is important to add my voice to the body of experience that is amassing online - particularly in relation to health matters, where there is some vital advocacy work being done.  I am also finding that the conversations I am now having with people going through similar things are invaluable in terms of helping me to feel connected and come to terms with my illness.  At the very least, I hope that what I have to say will provide that element of human connection and comparison for people going through a similar experience.  And it would be even better if we could have a chat about it!


  1. Your voice is being heard. Keep talking...keep writing...and yes, it would be wonderful to chat about it too...

  2. Thank you for being so supportive and for joining in - it's a pleasure to meet you!