Today is my first Blogiversary: this blog is exactly one year old today.
When I launched DeadMenDontSnore back in March last year, I was unsure if I was even well enough to keep up with a blog beyond the first couple of weeks never mind whether anyone other than my mum and dad would bother to read it. I assumed my foray into the blogosphere might be somewhat short-lived (I certainly never expected to still be going after a year) but after years of living with illness, silently and unseen, I knew blogging was something I needed to try.
As I looked back last week at some of my earliest blog posts, I read the following words from my very first post:
It has been suggested to me several times that my illness gives a perspective unusual enough to be worthy of a blog. I have resisted till now because of the sheer time and energy involved. Multiple relapses have brought too many past projects abruptly to an end and I am reluctant to squander my limited resources on anything else that may result in months of wasted effort. Why put my words out there if no one will read them? What if I am too ill to keep up with a blog? Who would want to read about a life as restrictive as mine?
The answer to that last question turned out to be quite a lot of people. I’ve been blown away by the number of hits, comments and followers this blog has received and it is hard to imagine life now without it. I have loved getting to know so many of you, following your blogs, and learning from your experiences. I have come to view many of you as friends, and have danced more happy-dances while sat at my computer reading your kind words than I’d even had cause to in almost a decade.
Chronic illness is by nature incredibly isolating and after eight years spent housebound, I have very few real-life friends still left to turn to. I go weeks at a time without seeing anyone that I haven’t had to pay to come visit me so I’m grateful to have established a virtual community instead. After years without a voice it feels good to be heard again and find people who already understand so many things that healthy people never could. When someone else with a chronic illness tells me they’ve shared a blog post with family and friends, or that I’ve helped them to express something they’ve struggled to communicate for years, it makes every ounce of time and effort worth the investment.
It breaks my heart to know that so many beautiful, caring people are trapped in such desperate circumstances and to see so much incredible potential wasted by disease. I wish no one had to experience what so many of us are going through; I wish I could click my fingers and take the pain and stigma away. But I am blessed to have ‘met’ so many people with such capacity to think of others despite their own difficulties. Reading your words of support, and learning how you choose to live such worthwhile, positive lives despite having every reason to be miserable, gives me strength to make that same decision myself, and makes my own daily struggles that little bit easier to deal with.
So thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone that continues to support and contribute to this blog. I’ll keep chipping away at new blog posts as long as my health allows it and so long as there are still people out there who are willing to read my ramblings. My sights are now set on reaching my second blogiversary, one day, one hour, one post at a time. I can’t wait to get started on it, and look forward to seeing what the next twelve months will bring.