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March 27, 2014

The Balancing Act of Being a Chronically Ill Blogger

In the blogging world, it is pretty well expected for bloggers to be real, at least to an extent. Particularly on blogs in which the writer is honestly trying to gain a following of readers who want to know who they really are. Which is really the goal, I would think, for most of us who have a blog.

It’s easy, to some extent, to just crank out the same generic posts that we feel are expected of us: style posts, food, DIYs, etc. The usual. And all of those are totally fine. But just cranking out what we think is expected doesn’t leave quite as much room for your personality to shine through, when you know there is so much more you need to say. I mean it could, but it’s just not as likely or as endearing to readers.

So the solution to showing the real you is to write about what you really want to write about, what’s really going on in your life—in moderation of course—and simply be real. While it can certainly be a struggle to gauge what is sharing just enough and what is sharing too much for any blogger, that’s a gauge that I’m sure becomes stronger over time.

Bloggers who happen to have a chronic illness, however, meet with an even tougher balancing act.

I want to be real and share what I’m dealing with. No one wants to read a blog about someone whose life is perfect—and I doubt I’m the only one who mentally rolls their eyes a bit when they read an “About” page that totally implies the writer’s life is simply perfect with absolutely no troubles whatsoever. That kind of blog makes me click on the X right away and not come back. But I also realize that those of you who are healthy really probably don’t want to hear what all I would like to say. I really do want you all to want to stick around and not get scared off, but I don’t want to let my invisible illness just remain invisible to you all. I realize that in all these pictures you see of me, I look totally fine (right? ;) so I don’t want appearances to be totally deceiving.

So the struggle becomes: how much do I share and how much do I keep to myself? And the best answer I can think of is: however much I need to share to help you who read this blog. Whether you’re as healthy as can be or far sicker than I am.

I don’t want to complain, and I don’t mean to; I simply want to be honest about my little corner of the world, to let you really see who that girl Kacie is, and not hide what is the most consuming area of my life. To just not write about it would be to have a blog written by someone who doesn’t even really exist. And what’s the point of that?

Yet a further struggle that comes with sharing such things is the danger of alienating myself from those of you who are healthy—which is the majority of you all reading this. Sickness has a definite way of making us feel very less than human, on a daily basis. Yet I do still truly live and breathe just like a human. And I do love pretty clothes and nail polish and curling my hair and going out to eat and listening to music. So even though I’m sick and you may not be, we do still have quite a lot in common. ;)

So when I throw in tidbits about doctor appointments in the middle of a fashion post, just know that I’m just being honest about my life. And when I have a full-fledged post on anything having to do with my health problems, please know that I’m sharing those thoughts not to complain or gain pity, not to scare you off (please don’t go! ;), but to let those of you not familiar with my area of health problems become more educated about life with such things, and to let those of you who do suffer with my or similar health problems (or any at all really) know that I’m here. That there’s another girl across the blogosphere struggling every day just like you, just to live life as a sick person surrounded by healthy people, who knows that the light at the end of the tunnel is some days a nearing beacon and sometimes as dark as the midnight.

All of this to say, I want you all to see the real me, and when you have an invisible illness, it takes more than just pictures to deliver that. So I will do my best to attain and maintain the balance.

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