Today it is December and Australia is welcoming Summer and all of its sunny days and lingering evenings. Christmas is coming, school years are wrapping up and party invitations are rolling in. Change is in the air and, with a sense of sweet accomplishment, I am bidding farewell to CRPS Awareness Month for 2012.
Not that I’m going to stop blogging or attempting to raise awareness, I’m just going to tone it back to its regular intensity.
This marks my 25th post for the WEGO Health challenge and 25/30 isn’t so bad. I’ve written some posts that I’m really proud of. Some of the topics had been floating about my mind for some time, just waiting for me to find the motivation to sit down and map out my thoughts in words. Other topics had me sit and think about things that I’d never much pondered over before and I enjoyed the inspiration that arose from doing so.
Participating in NHBPM has introduced me to some amazing bloggers and all round fabulous people that I am looking forward to keeping in touch with. Finding active blogs that I can relate to and connect with can be a time consuming task and I love the way that this challenge brought them all into one, easy to find, place.
Welcome to my google reader, all of you fabulous health bloggers.
When I dove into this challenge at the beginning of November, I really wasn’t sure how far I’d get. It had been so long since I’d been able to stick to any sort of routine, or regular concentration schedule. I was feeling really low, really useless and wondering if I was going to be useful in any way, ever again. Depression was sinking its claws into me and I needed something to focus on to help me muster the strength to break free.
I had to set some personal goals to help keep me on track. I had to refuse to let my pain stop me from writing. This didn’t work out every day, but on many occasions I managed to overcome temporary flaring by switching up how I was writing (typing/dictation/ touchscreen) and working hard at pain management to keep symptoms as under control as possible. It helped to pace myself, take regular breaks and practise J.K. Rowling’s advice about welcoming interruptions.
I managed to cut further through brain fog than I knew that I could. Many of my posts began as ramble that I keep going over, looking for patterns and then linking my thoughts into paragraphs that make sense. By refusing to give up, even when I had spent hours and hardly gotten anywhere, I was able to strengthen my concentration powers in spite of the CRPS handicap.
Making all of this writing happen has taken a toll on my ability to manage daily life. There has been less time to keep the house clean, less time for cooking, less energy for shopping, running errands or organising appointments. My inboxes are bursting with messages in need of attention and response. I knew this would be the case going in and was ready for the exhaustion.
An unexpected bonus of this extensive effort has been practise in being busy. When I was healthy, I always found that the busier I was, the more I got done. Not having time to spare helps to cut out a lot of the excuses that seem viable when one has plenty of time to procrastinate.
I am looking forward to taking the momentum that I’ve created during November and continuing to improve my concentration abilities. I’d like to extend my writing range and further increase my ability to manage around my CRPS symptoms.
I don’t expect to be able to do whatever I want, whenever I want, without consequence. I simply see that I can improve my ability to function in slight ways that will accumulate over time.
I’m taking the Feldenkrais perspective on learning. I’m applying a step-by-step attitude to learning tasks and routine, just like the Feldenkrais method does to learning movement. I’m focusing on improvement and not ultimate result.
I’m not sure I even believe in ultimate results in this temporary world of ours.
Here is a list of all my contributions, in order of statistical popularity, so the best stuff is at the top…
How To Treat A Friend Who Lives With Chronic Pain
You Need To See A Psychiatrist
Is Posting About Health On Facebook OK?
Dealing With Negative Feedback In An Online Community
Dear Body, I’m Sorry
What Mindfulness Means To Me
When Health Is Weird
When Happy Memories Hurt
Disclosure & Chronic Pain: How Much Is Too Much?
Shh! You Don’t Talk About Suicide
From Weakness, Grows Strength
How To Take Time Out From Unrelenting Pain
Why I Write About My Health
The Loveliest Little Helpers
What Is Feldenkrais?
What About The People With Chronic Pain, Government?
The Doctors That Teach Distrust
When Coping Skills Collapse
In Review: The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge
In A Pain-free Reverie
Health Activist Award Nominations & Halfway Through My Blogging Challenge Celebrations
This Post Is Just A Porthole
To help celebrate the work of Health Bloggers everywhere, nominations are now open for the WEGO Health Activist Awards 2012.
I’ve been nominating all of my favourite health blogs. If Rellacafa happens to be one of your favourites, please nominate me!
I’ve put in a lot of work this month and I am so incredibly grateful to everybody who bothered to read and then helped to share my efforts. Thank you!
Thank you for taking this journey with me, Audy, it wouldn’t have been the same without you.
It’s the end of National Health Blog Post Month for 2012, but far from the end of health blogging itself. We are a growing niche of shared experiences and information. We are a community that is invaluable to many people who are coping with chronic pain and illness.
It matters, this blogging thing. It is important and we are important. Take the plunge if you’re only just considering starting a blog of your own and keep writing, fellow health bloggers, keep sharing. The future looks so calm beyond the murky fog of misunderstanding and stigmatisation.
You can stay in touch with me by subscribing to Rellacafa via email (sidebar, top right) or RSS, liking the Rellacafa page on Facebook, following me on Twitter, Instagram or Youtube, or even all of these options if you happen to like to stay plugged in. You are all welcome in my online world.
Love & Triumph,
This post written as a part of National Health Blog Post Month, run by WEGO health. Check out what people have been contributing via #NHBPM on Twitter, or joining the NHBPM Facebook Event.