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The chronic illness community you’ve been looking for

Reprinted with the kind permission of Sarah Borien and A Life Less Physical [1]
 
When you’re looking for a community to help you find your way through chronic illness, your requirements might be different to mine. Some readers look for a focus on fitness or faith to help them cope, others focus on a desire for product reviews, and some look for particular survival mechanisms like beauty or travel. Personally, I like to focus on a cocktail of coping strategies combined with ‘normal’ living – with a drop of sarcasm for good measure.
 
If my vibe is your vibe and you’re looking for a similar kind of community to help you navigate this chronic illness minefield, then look no further. Below are links to some of my favourite bloggers, tweeters, and instagrammers – plus a few health forums that you may like to explore.
 
My top blogs
 
They say don’t judge a book by its cover but who are they kidding? My impatient, judgemental attitude is that if I don’t like the look, I won’t go any further. Harsh? Maybe. Unfair? Perhaps. But if I’m searching through hundreds of blogs and forums looking for help and a home page attacks my eyes, then I rarely get as far as the words. However, if the design is great and the content matches up, then you can bet your life I’ll remember you. Here are some of my favourites:

Top tweeters
 
Some of my top tweeters are also my favourite bloggers, whilst others are just solely summing up life with a chronic illness in 140 characters.
(They’re the people I envy most – I struggle to be witty / intelligent / informative in 140 characters or less. Or at all, some days!)

Collection accounts
 
It’s not just individuals that are worth following on Twitter; there are also a number of collection accounts that provide links to a wide number of blogs and articles. Some of my favourites are:

Inspiring Instagrammers
 
Chronic illness sufferers on Instagram often post of lot of memes, a lot of quotes and a lot of purple. I personally prefer real ‘grammers that show me a gallery of happiness mixed with coping strategies. You’ll get just that from:

Chronic Illness Communities
 
If you’re looking for something a bit more two-way and would like an opportunity to get involved and really debate the issues of chronic illness, then an online forum might be the thing for you. The sites below post articles from bloggers (keep your eyes peeled and you’ll see I feature on a couple of them!) but also offer chat forums so you can start discussions with fellow patients.

Favourite Facebookers

If Facebook is your preferred social media of choice, then these are my top accounts to follow.


Sarah Borien lives in a country cottage in Oxfordshire with her husband and their two cats. She has had fibromyalgia since 2009 and is passionate about finding and sharing new coping strategies. Sarah authors her blog, A Life Less Physical [33], and has written for New Life Outlook (Fibromyalgia) [34].