I better start this post off by introducing myself to you all, since I’m new round here! I’m Shona, a 20 year old disability, lifestyle and beauty blogger and I’ve been blogging for nearly 6 years now. This means that my blog has almost grown up with me and lived alongside me as I went from an average teenager who happened to have a genetic condition, to a young woman who has been severely affected by that same condition. At first, I didn’t talk about my condition on my blog but as I found myself needing major spinal surgery to correct Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) I thought it might be helpful to talk about it, if only for the benefit of other people going through the same thing. However, over the years I’ve found that speaking about my disability has had a huge benefit to me and my mental health, providing me with a space to talk openly and candidly about the up’s and the down’s.
It was in my mid-teens that my genetic condition, Marfan Syndrome, started to have more of an effect on my everyday life, at this point I’d been blogging for just over a year. At first, I was nervous about talking about something that seemed so personal to me but the lack of decent and honest content about the operation I was due to have pushed me to speak up and write posts that I had wanted to read myself. Whilst I was in hospital my Mum even kept a diary of my time there and I published it all, I spoke about things like catheters and my sessions with the physio, topics that I had wanted to read about myself pre-surgery. It was when I suffered a complication after the operation that I realised how much writing could help me though.
Writing and speaking about my disability, if only in a tweet, really helped me to come to terms with what was happening to my body. Typing away at my computer helped me to unplug a lot of negative thoughts and feelings, I could unload in a way that I was comfortable with. Speaking so openly with family and friends felt awkward but online I felt free and welcomed into a community that I didn’t even know existed. No one judged me or didn’t believe me and I knew I had a support network there if I needed it.
Since then there isn’t much that I haven’t spoken about online when it comes to my health and every now and then I’ll read through my old posts, reminding myself of how far I’ve come. It’s reassuring sometimes knowing that I got through some of the experiences that I had regarding my health, it often gives me the strength to get through what is yet to come. Some people might think it’s odd or over-sharing but I know that my words are helping both myself and other people.