My Daughter has Chronic Fatigue (Helen’s Story)

“The journey is slow, and it consists of tiny steps.”

It’s time… for the first interview with another watcher!

The blog series Another Watcher’s Story is a compilation of interviews with other people just like us who are in a relationship with someone suffering from a chronic illness: mental or physical. They may or may not be in an ‘official’ caregiving role, but they have a unique tale to tell.

The purpose of this blog is to remind us that we are not alone.

May this interview be an encouragement that there are others out there too, struggling to love and seeking to give, all the while figuring out what it looks like to do exactly that.

So without further ado, let me introduce Helen, the mother of a daughter who suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

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How to write about Chronic Illness (Watchers, we are not Biographers)

Have you ever had the urge to make order out of chaos?

Are you ever tempted to sit down and try and order the pieces of your life? As you love and care for your sick Loved Ones, do you ever wish you could straighten your hardships out into a coherent narrative, one with a tidy moral and neat conclusion? Do you feel that if only you had a polished version of your life, it would be a enough to redeem your suffering, because then it would have a purpose?

In short, do you ever neglect your role as a Watcher in order to become ‘Biographer’?

This is what it looks like:

Continue reading “How to write about Chronic Illness (Watchers, we are not Biographers)”

2017 taught me that my timing is not always right (and that’s ok!)

Am I okay with the fact that I can’t live the life I want?

They say you never stop learning. Though sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what you’re learning while you’re learning it!

Often I come away from a season in my life with the sense that I’ve just learned something: that my character has been shaped, that my knowledge has grown… but am unable to put into words exactly what.

That’s why I Iove reflection. Over the last few months there’s been an increasing pressure on my soul because I learnt something in 2017 that is important, and I don’t want it to dissipate as the calendar flips over. Instead I want to cradle this truth close  as I march out into 2018. So here’s my attempt to put it down in letters on a white screen, so that the lesson might be worth the learning.

2017 taught me that my timing is not always right

2017 was full of projects…

[Read more here – this post is published in its entirety on my personal blog, but I felt it was helpful for us over here too!]

//What about you? What did 2017 teach your heart?

Chronic Illness won’t let me celebrate the New Year 2018

We all like fresh starts, new years and clean slates. But with chronic illness these are often not possible. How then, can we celebrate the New Year?

As the old year ends and the New Year begins, society gears up to welcome in a new period of life. Parties and fireworks are often external signs of our joy and anticipation of a fresh start.

Many of us begin to make New Years resolutions… but the problem is these simply may not be applicable for you or your loved one suffering from a chronic illness.

Continue reading “Chronic Illness won’t let me celebrate the New Year 2018”

Twenty-Seventeen – your favourite posts

Truth, Hate and Tears, that was our year, apparently..

Only a few days left of twenty-seventeen! I hope you all had a lovely, rest-filled, Hope-filled Christmas. For those of you who didn’t, I pray you were able to cling onto the hope that one day Christmas will conquer chronic illness.

It’s time for some stats! Out of the 54 posts published this year, let me share which ones you liked the most, and then I have a huge favour to ask you…

(These do not include the introductory – But what is Watching? and the About MeAbout Me pages, both of which were very popular.)

So, without further ado –

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Why my blog will never go viral (reflecting on 2017 as a Watcher)

There is joy in the midst of sorrow, and so I write..

At the moment, even as I’m preparing to look forward to Christmas, 2018, and the future – I’m also looking back.

What I’ve learnt from blogging about chronic illness on Called to Watch:

1. I have everything to gain and nothing to lose

Blogging over the past year has taught me that Watching is a ‘thing’. By this, I mean, loving someone with a chronic illness is a state of being worth talking about. It’s a relationship worth sharing. It’s actually an important part of who I am – just as it’s a crucial element to who a lot of people are!

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Traveling, chronic illness and character preparation

A few weeks away changes someone.. and not always for the better.

As we progress further into December, many of us are preparing to go on holidays.

If you share a life with someone who struggles from a chronic illness, travelling can be difficult, exhausting and even terrifying.

Recently I went away, and beforehand I did some preparation. Not the ‘buy insurance’, ‘print your papers’, ‘get the correct address’ sort of preparation, which unfortunately I was rather sadly lacking in (thank you Long-Suffering Friend!) – but character preparation.

What’s that, you ask?

Continue reading “Traveling, chronic illness and character preparation”