Since allowing myself to reach out to others almost a year ago, I have found my community. I have found my people, my tribe! I didn’t know that I needed these people in my life until they appeared. Sadly, I had closed myself off by denying my illness was a part of me. So, I write this to you today for several reasons. One is for the people who haven’t allowed others in to their hearts. The other is to recognize and thank those that are now part of my heart. If you don’t know already, here is how I found importance in the chronic illness community.
I have met so many supportive friends through the blogging world and the chronic illness community. How did I meet them? Well, one of the things that isn’t talked about much is that you HAVE to network when you start a blog. You have to follow other bloggers on social media and their blogs. This is important to not only make friends but to learn from others. There is always someone else who knows just a little more (or a lot more) than you. It benefits you to befriend bloggers for support and knowledge. I’m sorry to say, but it is rare that you are going to launch your blog and have immediate success without sharing your blog and returning the favor to other bloggers. I quite enjoy reading other bloggers articles and looking at their websites. It gives me motivation and sometimes ideas I hadn’t thought of.
If blogging isn’t something you want to do, then putting yourself out there on social media is the next best thing. Of course, you need to be careful as there are predators out there and they seem to prey on women and especially those with a chronic illness. That being said, I have met the most wonderful women on social media (some men too). These people are going through exactly what I’m going through or sadly worse. They give me strength when I don’t think I have any left. Just when I’m feeling down and sorry for myself someone will post something uplifting to remind me to keep going. I treasure the chronic illness community with all my heart (you all know who you are). Honestly, there are so many I fear accidentally leaving someone out.
When I first started blogging I saw bloggers say they were nominated for awards like the Sunshine Blogger Award, The Versatile Blogger Award. I soon learned that these awards were given by other bloggers. It is a fun way for us to get to know each other and recognize our work. I think I have been recognized for all of them now, although I haven’t written a post for each one as I have been too sick to focus on my blog.
This last month, I learned of an organization called WEGO Health. This is an organization that you can become a member and network with other people and organizations as a patient leader providing advocacy for your community. What is a Patient Leader? A patient leader is an advocate, who knows what it takes to navigate the healthcare system. It is also an influencer who is able to reach people in a community online. Lastly, a patient leader is an expert, who is a business professional who understands things from a patient perspective. Becoming a member of WEGO Health allows you to network with other industry leaders. So, if you are looking to up your advocacy game, this is the place to do it.
When I learned about WEGO Health I immediately put earning this award on my bucket list. I know that I am very new to the advocacy world, but it doesn’t mean my heart is any less involved. Since I was young, I always wanted to do something to change the world. This feeling is in my blood and drives my goals today. I started this 6 years ago when I went back to college to work on my psychology degree. At 44 years old my true desire is still to become a psychologist and study human behavior. However, my body has other plans for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am still working towards that goal, but I may have to take another detour.
I have been nominated for the Best Kept Secret and Best in Show Blog awards. I do not know who nominated me, but I suspect. However, it means the world to me and it has pushed me to keep going with my advocacy efforts. It is not easy to keep going when you fight fibromyalgia on a daily basis, work full time, and in addition work towards a degree while building a blog and business. Like I said earlier though, my community pushes me forward. They give me the energy and support I need to get back up.
I would truly appreciate support from the chronic illness community now by endorsing both my nominations at the link below. Earning this award from my community and my readers is just the incentive I need to take myself to the next level and truly make a difference in the world.
You can make a difference in the chronic illness community as well! If you haven’t subscribed to my blog yet, please do so below so you can see when there are opportunities to help your community. I also encourage all to visit International Support Fibromyalgia Network as they not only have resources but provide advocacy opportunities as well. Gentle Hugs to all my fellow Chronic Illness Warriors!
Fibro Women Blogs
Chronic Woman Blogs
Chronic Illness Blogs
Official Fibromyalgia Blogs