Wednesday, March 27, 2013

To My Readers

I want to thank you.  I want to thank you, not just for reading, but for writing as well.

Over the course of the last almost three years that I have written this blog I have thought many times about why I do it.  I started this blog for a couple of reasons but have added more as time has gone on.  When I started this blog I wanted to do it for 2 reasons, and they were mostly selfish reasons at that.  I wanted a place to put my thoughts and experiences.  I also wanted a way of telling my family and friends what's going on in my life without having to repeat the same story, over and over again.  Like I said, that's changed.

I definitely still write the blog as a way of emptying my head.  It's an excellent way of getting all of my thoughts out and documenting all of my experiences with POTS/dysautonomia and/or Mitochondrial Disease.  I'm not great at journals.  Plus, handwriting things makes me tired.  You'd be amazed at how much muscle strength it requires to write.  I didn't mind the fact that I'm putting all of my thoughts and experiences in a place for the entire world to see.  Like I said, I actually wanted that aspect of a blog because then I could use it as a place for my friends and family to get information about me and my illness, how I'm doing, etc.  However, I learned that I didn't need to write my blog for that reason because I found that not many people read it in the first place.  So I was keeping everyone updated by writing in my blog and then I was repeating everything on the phone with different people who don't read my blog.  So, obviously, that reason for writing my blog was invalid.

I still had the initial reason... a place to get things off of my chest.  However, as time went on I realized that there is another reason...  To create a place for others with Mitochondrial Disease, POTS, or any other chronic illness to come to feel like they're not alone in this world.

I share so much of my life on this blog.  I don't hold much in and I'm not shy to talk about things that many people would be too embarrassed to talk about (poop, vomit, altered anatomy, etc.).  I am always very honest in my life and even more so on my blog.  I don't hold much of anything back.  In fact, I have a hard time, myself, with making sure that I don't share too much.  However, the fact that I share as much as I do has helped many people.

Whether someone has mitochondrial disease, POTS, or some other chronic illness, a lot of my readers and I have a lot in common.  I know that one of the things that has helped me through the journey of living with chronic illness is knowing that I'm not alone, that there are people out there who are dealing with much of the same stuff I am.  It is always so refreshing to read someone's blog, post on facebook, or comment on a message forum saying that they're dealing with something I have to deal with all the time as well.  Whether it's the emotions, physical symptoms of the disease, the grieving process after losing your life as you knew it, or any of the many other problems we deal with because of chronic disease, it's SO nice to know that someone else in this world is dealing with the same thing. THAT is one of the main reasons why I now write my blog.

I have received many comments and even more emails over the last couple of years from readers saying how much they appreciate my blog.  They appreciate my honesty and the fact that I am putting myself out there for the whole world to see.  One thing I didn't mention above is that I also use my blog to raise awareness of Mitochondrial Disease.  That is something else that my readers have appreciated.  I have been thanked for writing as much as I do because it has helped them in their journey to finding a diagnosis, a better doctor, etc.

What my readers don't know is that you're all helping ME.  I love getting letters/emails from my readers.  It is SO special to me to hear that not only is someone reading my blog, but they enjoy it, and it has helped them in some way, shape or form.  It means so much to know that my constant babbling and bitching actually helps people.

I know how much it means to me to read someone else's blog because it helps to remind me that I'm not alone in this fight against Mitochondrial Disease.  How I didn't think about my blog helping others in the same way, I don't know.

I want to share a few quotes from some of my readers who have really touched my heart and helped me to realize that writing my blog helps others too...  (I did not get permission from all of the people I quote below.  Therefore, I am not using names.  If you want me to use your name or delete your comment, please let me know and I will do so immediately.  Thanks.)

-"I found your honesty (not bitching, as you call it) to be refreshing and somewhat emotionally fulfilling and healing."
-"Your blog was a gift to me tonight... in so many ways."
-"You have a great talent for putting things into perspective."
-"I keep you in my prayers and think you are brave and inspiring."
-"You wrote spot on... the mito world needs you."
-"It was beautiful to read your story... it is so real... thank you."
-"...I just wanted to let you know how much your blog means to me."

I want you all to know how much you mean to me.  All of my readers are special to me... whether I know you or not.  Many of you, as you can see from the quotes, have stated that my blog has helped you.  Well, you all, and your emails have helped me.  You all have reminded me why I do this... why I open up so much for the entire world to see.  It makes me feel wonderful to know that I am helping someone, even if it's just a little.

I may not be very good at responding to your emails very quickly, but I appreciate each and every one.  The most recent one, which I still haven't replied to yet, even brought tears to my eyes (good ones).  So, please understand that I want to reply but don't always have the energy to do so right away, and be patient.  I will get around to replying eventually.

So, THANK YOU readers!  If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have a blog. And if it wasn't for your kind words, I would never know that I even have readers and how much I am appreciated.

If you have ever considered writing to me, and haven't, please do so.  I love to hear from my readers... even if it does take me a bit sometimes to respond.  I am ALWAYS open for questions, comments, etc.

Thank you, again.

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