In an interview this afternoon, a reporter asked if my book, Women, Work and Autoimmune Disease: Keep Working Girlfriend! (co-authored with Joan Friedlander) is the result of my own ambition to be a writer. And did I plan to write more? My first response was, “You’re kidding, aren’t you?”
I found writing a book to be exhausting and not a way I want to spend my time repeatedly. But it was cathartic.
It helped me get crystal clear about my intentions for how I want to live my life in relationship to the chronic illnesses I live with. And it helped me understand why work became more important after I became very sick. (I’m not going to answer that here – you’ll have to read Women Work and Autoimmune Disease, Chapter 2, Why Should You Keep Working? to find out.)
Most importantly, I’ve learned that writing — in my case on being a professional while living with chronic illness — is a vehicle in that allows me to transform a difficult experience into something useful for others. As does my work coaching people. When a client tells me that he couldn’t have made it through looking for work without my help, I know I’ve done something that’s concrete. Coaching professionals with chronic illness isn’t something you go to school for. I was lucky to figure out how to make lemons out of lemonade. (Sorry about the over used expression – it just fits.)
Many people write to clear out the cobwebs around living with a CI – just look at my blogroll. I read about a writer, a nurse who lives with MS, who gets tremendous satisfaction from writing for others (Woman’s Illness Pushes Her Writing). Diana Amadeo has written hundreds of articles and even published chapters in Chicken Soul for the Soul. No longer practicing nursing, she feels great helping people with her writing.
Check This Out:
If you’re looking for a way to write about your experience, Leslie, at Getting Closer to Myself , is putting together a book of essays written by women about their experience with chronic illness while in their 20’s or 30’s. Read the call for submissions.
And, finally, along the lines of making lemonade, Christine Miserandino Donato, the blogger who writes, ButYouDontLookSick.com, is raising money for her family’s annual Lupus Walk. Read more and donate to this valuable cause. It’s a great thing to support even if you don’t live with Lupus yourself.
Rosalind aka cicoach.com