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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Love Beats Hate

While people sometimes use the internet to spread hateful messages about marginalized groups, including people with chronic illnesses, we want to show that love is more powerful than hate. The Love Beats Hate blogging event (November 17, 2010) is an opportunity to share the ways in which you've seen the support of online communities enrich your life or the lives of others.

Personally, I have received an overflowing of care, support, and encouragement from online bloggers. I have only been a member of the blogging community for a few months, but my 'invisible illness' began a couple years ago.

The pain has increasingly worsened, which has consequently increased my feelings of isolation. I have been able to connect with others online in such profound ways because many of us live in chronic pain. Even though we have never (and probably will never) met each other in person... in many ways, we know each other better than some people we do meet in person. It's as though there is an unspoken bond between people that live in chronic pain. It doesn't matter what type of pain it is... just knowing that another person truly understands what it's like to be in pain all the time, knowing that it's not going to ever just 'go away'... it takes the pressure off and allows both people to feel comfortable enough to begin to take the mask off that we're so used to putting on for the world. We can be true to ourselves without trying to pretend... finally! And, it hurts to face the changes, but the blogging community is there for you as you trudge through the roller coaster of emotions and journey from who you once were to who you are becoming.

The online blogging community has allowed me to express myself in ways that I never would have before. I feel heard in a way that I never had before. And, even though I know that my experience is unique, I find comfort in the words of other bloggers who share their words and prayers. So, to all of those bloggers that I've crossed paths with, THANK YOU... you've helped me in unique ways through some difficult parts of this ongoing journey.

6 comments:

  1. I am very sorry for your migraine pain. I get them occasionally, and I can relate to that mask. My heart goes out to you.

    I am glad you find comfort in the words of bloggers. I know I could not imagine life without blogging ever again.

    I wish you peace.

    And lots more blogging love.

    xo

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  2. Amazing post, Jamie. I am so glad you shared this during today's event. I had to fight back tears while reading,

    "Even though we have never...met each other in person... in many ways, we know each other better than some people we do meet in person. It's as though there is an unspoken bond..."

    and

    "... it takes the pressure off and allows both people to feel comfortable enough to begin to take the mask off that we're so used to putting on for the world."

    Just beautiful!

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  3. It is wonderful that even with such isolating problems as chronic pain and unpredictable migraine awfulness the internet allows us to reach out and CHANGE things. Lovely post!

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  4. It is so fantastic to have this great medium to be able to connect with other people going through the same things as us, especially when those things stop us from leaving the house! So much of the stress of having an invisible illness is due to the isolation and feeling misunderstood, I am so grateful to have the internet here to express myself and connect with others! Wishing you much luck in your journey :)

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  5. I would love to meet all my blogger friends in person! One day...I am going to figure out a way to make that happen! =) We need fun too!!!

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  6. Jamie,

    Thank you for this lovely post for Love Beats Hate!

    You have touched upon some of the most universal themes in the online chronic illness community...

    The importance of validation/support (and how plentiful it is online), the value of (online) relationships for people with chronic illnesses in particular (due to the risk of becoming isolated - without having a way to connect with people... when leaving the house isn't possible), and the fact that no matter what condition or conditions are causing the pain... other chronic illness/pain patients tend to "get it" in ways that healthy people rarely (if ever) do.

    The "unspoken bond" is SO very powerful between chronically ill patients.

    I'm so glad you've found such great support online. It's hard for me to remember my "pre-blogging" life because my online friends have become such an important part of my life.

    I'm really sorry that your pain has worsened.

    Thank you again for a post that really captures so many of the emotions that so many chronic illness/pain patients feel.

    It's nice to "meet" you. :)

    Jeanne

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