I’ve been blogging and reading blogs for almost 2 months now, and I’m amazed at how it changed my perception toward my disease and life for the better.
I never thought that I would be the type of person who had the dedication and desire to blog on a regular basis. I love writing, but to until a few months ago, sharing my story with the world seemed selfish to me. I have come to realize that while there is a “selfish” aspect to blogging, it extends far beyond that. I like to keep track of where my viewers come from, and the fact that people from around the United States and from other countries have viewed my blog amazes me. It means that while I’m enjoying venting and writing about my journey with Cystic Fibrosis, others are enjoying it or learning from it as well.
I launched my Wordpress site about a month ago, and I have had tremendous response there as well. I have subscribers, and have received over 500 views on that page. I’ve had people sharing my articles and rating them, and I’ve officially been tweeted. It’s one of the best feelings in the world to gain acknowledgement for what you’ve written and in turn know that you are slowly raising awareness about cystic fibrosis.
In addition, I’m slowly becoming a better writer (at least in my opinion) also. I’m working on phrasing sentences better, and trying to make my writing enjoyable to my readers. Since I hope to one day complete a novel, this skill is critical for me to learn. Blogging offers the perfect platform to hone my skills and gain personal response from readers. I look back at what I wrote two months ago, or even last month, and feel that my current writing is stronger. I’m so glad that I have gotten into writing blogs.
Even more important, however, I have been thoroughly enjoying reading blogs. I have a good number of blogs that I check daily for updates. I eagerly await new posts so that I can see how my fellow cysters and fibros are doing. To me, reading other blogs feels like I am offered a chance to read their journal or diary. I feel connected to others in a deep way, and it never ceases to amaze me how much people truly expose their soul in blogging. New posts are like candy to me, and I also enjoy commenting on what I’ve read when I feel I have something pertinent to say.
It also amazes me how many of the authors reply to comments that I (or anyone) makes. They enjoy the feedback and work hard to acknowledge comments and answer questions. It’s truly remarkable. I am surprised and encouraged by their dedication to their readers, and to raising awareness for CF. I cannot emphasize enough that the group of authors I follow are truly amazing and inspirational people.
I also have to say that I have gained a “family” through this blogging experience. I feel that I know a few girls, in particular, very well. We are all on a similar road in our lives and beating CF on a daily basis. I feel like they are my “go-to” people when I have a question, and I look forward to talking with them about new changes (or lack of changes) in their life. My husband, family, and friends are a wonderful support system that I wouldn’t change for the world, but there is something to be said for my “cysters.” My family/friends sympathize with me, listen to me vent, and love me unconditionally, but my cysters understand exactly what I’ve gone or am going through. They know what it means to gag from coughing so much, to have a CF belly, to be upset when your PFTs go down, to feel the sadness, confusion, and anger of a fellow cyster or fibro passing away before his or her time, and to feel the frustration that this disease carries with it daily. I am so blessed to have these people in my life and I can’t wait to continue following their journeys.
Finally, blogging has led me to discover www.cysticlife.org. I am so grateful to its creators, Mr. and Mrs. Sharpe! It is the best outlet for cysters and fibros in the entire world. The site focuses on offering a POSITIVE and ENCOURAGING community. If I ever have a CF question, I head there right away. If it hasn’t already been asked, I can usually pose a question and receive a few responses by the end of the day. The “family” that is created on that site is incredible. I have learned more about CF than I ever knew before, have gained a more positive outlook for this disease, and have gained perspective in life all from this site.
All in all, these last two months have been a wonderful change for me. I’m growing daily as a cyster and a writer and I’m gaining a sense of family and community through blogging. I’m so grateful for all of my continued readers who push me to make my posts better and more interesting, and I’m grateful for my fellow writers as well. I am so proud to be part of this cystic fibrosis community, and I’m so blessed to have people who care about me enough to follow my story. I live such an amazing and blessed life - hard to believe it’s all real at times. J