Have you ever heard of bibliotherapy?
Where other people might need bibliotherapy, I consider writing a help to ease past issues like being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005. However, when I started my blog, I didn’t think writing would become some sort of therapy I would find useful and it was not the initial goal. That goal only became clear after blogging for about a year, and realising it helped me settle my relationship towards my illness and eventually, seeing things in a more realistic way.
Because of my background – immigrated to Ireland 10,5 years ago, diagnosed with MS 8 years ago, losing a few family members in the space of 3 years interwoven with lots of funny stories and optimism – some people suggested I should write a book about my experiences of the last 10,5 years.
In a perfect world, I would like to sit down and start writing that very book, but being a perfectionist, I thought it would be wise to check out blogging to see if I could find an audience interested in my blah-di-blahs of daily life.
(Granted, I really do want to write a book, but it rather scares me having to look back and go over emotions that kept me busy shortly after being diagnosed and losing family members).
Creating a blog solely dedicated to living with MS would be interesting, but quite soon after starting it, I realised that I wanted to write about much more than just MS because I am more than just my illness. I am a daughter, sister, auntie, lover of life, of art, literature, libraries, museums, photography, psychology and another gazillion other things.
Writing about MS only would mean that I would have to return to issues related to it over and over again every time I wanted to write, and eventually, I would run out of ideas faster than I can say ‘hi’ in English. MS does give me something to think about every day, but often it is about things I would not necessarily want to share (yet).
However, adding posts about life in Ireland and my love for books and literature meant that my blog would be balanced enough, as long as it would be one that would clearly show my other blog posts besides those about MS. After all, I refuse to let MS take over my mind and I want that to be clear on my blog.
My aim is, therefore, to write about times like the ones I just described. I decided to stay in Ireland after my diagnosis for several reasons which I already wrote about in other blog posts. The biggest reason was living in a country where the weather is good for me and ride the waves of life the slow way.
That is what my life is like now… moving forward slowly but utterly enjoying everything I do. Because life is too short for regrets. And for dreams that cannot come true because you think you will not have enough time to fulfil them. If you can find all of this on my blog, then woohoo! Mission accomplished!
So read. Write. Dream. Be happy. Blog. And just breathe. Simply take a step back, breathe, and before you know it a new blog post is born.
© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013.