When I first created this group 8 months ago, in March/April I didn't realise how inspiring + uplifting it would be. I had thought for a long time about creating a group for people with similar conditions to me, for friendship, support + as a way of connecting with others who "get it" but I was really nervous + was too afraid to do it. I thought "what's the point?" "What difference can I make?" "Who would want to listen to me?" Then my doctor put me on a self management course called The Expert Patient Programme (I highly recommend, ask your doctor about it) where I met some amazing women. I had also spent a couple of months selling make up for a company who's mission was to uplift + empower women. While I didn't have it in me to continue the job itself, it boosted my confidence in part + inspired in me a passion to do what really mattered to me. Reaching out to others, particularly those struggling with physical or mental health conditions. It also reminded me of the power of social media when used in a positive way.
I took the plunge, created the group + invited the women I had met. Since then we have met up in St Paul's cafe Worthing, one Wednesday afternoon a month. We've met new people along the way, some just popping in. I've also made some amazing friendships on the Facebook + Instagram accounts for this group. Instagram in particular has become an amazing source of encouragement as I've made some wonderful friends within the community of chronic illness warriors. I've shared my experiences through my blog - chronicallyweakyetstrong.wordpress.com 😊 We also hosted a Crafternoon to raise money for Mind back in October. We have a private Facebook group where we share articles + funny things! We are also on Meetup.com + I was able to attend the mental health awareness week in Worthing where I was able to spread the word about the group. Aside from meeting up as a group locally, many of us also meet up 1:1. When I created this group, the heart of it was offering friendship + support, either in person, online or by text.
I want to thank each + every one of you for your kindness + support this year! 💛🌻💛