This week I interviewed a fellow blogger. Her blog is Claire’s Comfy Corner. Go ahead and check her out. If you know someone that struggles with chronic pain, please share her blog with them. She is a wonderful lady and I think more people really need to understand more about ‘invisible diseases’.
- Who are you?
I’m a teacher, blogger and Fibromyalgia warrior. I teach English in a secondary school in London. I love my job and sometimes I can’t believe I’m being paid to talk about books, plays and poetry. I love Shakespeare but I also have so many other favourite authors: Oscar Wilde, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and F Scott Fitzgerald. I am an avid reader and I love relaxing with a good mystery or thriller. I was diagnosed earlier this year with a central nervous system disorder called Fibromyalgia. Working full time is tough with this chronic pain condition but I try to remain positive and my new motto is ‘with pain comes strength’. I’m discovering that I am stronger than I ever thought and I’m learning to smile through the pain. My three loving but mad cats always make me laugh 🙂
- Where are you located?
I was born in Ireland and I have a BA (Hons) degree in English and History from the University of Limerick. I moved to Liverpool, England, to do my Post Graduate Certificate in Education in 1996 and I started teaching in Essex a year later. I love living in the London borough of Barking and Dagenham and when I can I visit one of the theatres in the West End, it’s only a tube ride away. The last play I saw was ‘Death of a Salesman’, it was a brilliant production and I must admit that I did shed a tear. I have a great love for food and enjoy eating out with friends in Turkish, Indian, Mexican, Italian and Chinese restaurants.
- What is your blog about?
My blog is about life with Fibromyalgia – I’m trying to raise awareness about this often misunderstood and underfunded invisible illness. I am determined to live life to its fullest. I’m not as active as I used to be nor do I socialise like I used to. My life has changed but I am not going to let this chronic pain condition beat me and even though I’m often in severe pain I have been setting myself little challenging like learning to cook, bake and even make my own laundry powder, soap and gifts. I am enjoying learning new skills and working towards a goal, my new hobbies keep me motivated. I find that engaging in little challenges and blogging about them actually provides me with an outlet for releasing stress and gives my mind something else to focus on than the painful symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
- In your own words, what is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is an invisible illness, I may appear fine but so many normal activities are a painful struggle. It’s like being a held captive by my own body, Fibromyalgia causes quite severe fatigue and pain, and it can interfere with my ability to carry out simple daily activities. The physical pain varies in intensity each day, I often have severe stabbing, throbbing, burning or shooting pains in different parts of my body – my knees, ankles, arms, neck, shoulders and hips are where I feel the worst pain – and strong prescription pain killers work sometimes.
- What is your overall goal for your blog Claire’s Comfy Corner?
We need the government and the health department to recognize Fibromyalgia for what it is, a debilitating life-changing illness and give more funding to help find a cure. So I am trying to raise awareness about this chronic pain condition. I’m also hoping to inspire others who live with chronic pain, I want to reach out and let them know that they are not alone in their fight.
- What is the one thing you want people to take away from your blog?
I want people to understand what life is like for a Fibromyalgia warrior. I fight every day to keep going, I’m not alone in this fight, there are lots of other people out there with invisible illnesses, and sometimes it’s difficult to focus on the positive things in our lives. I hope to inspire people to keep fighting, to keep smiling and to keep positive.
- What is your favourite quote? Is it something you live for everyday?
As an English teacher I have a lot of favourite quotes but in the last nine months the words of a fellow Fibromyalgia fighter, Morgan Freeman, have inspired me – ‘I only get one life and I will not let Fibromyalgia take the joy from living it.’
- What is next for you blog?
What other challenges will I try? Maybe candle making, making more beauty products, jewellery making and trying new recipes. I’m sure that there will be small successes and disasters along the way. I intend to blog about them all! But mostly I hope that I’ll continue to raise awareness about Fibromyalgia.
- What advice do you have for others with Fibromyalgia or others living with chronic pain?
Pain can change you but don’t let it define you. You will have good days! Do something you enjoy on those days. Set yourself realistic goals, you need to know your limitations and not do too much. Listen to your body and rest when you can. Take pride in your achievements – you are doing your best. Most of all know that you are not alone. Reach out to other fibro warriors, we understand what you are going through.
Where else can we find you?
Well, that is all for this week’s interview! If you would like to be interviewed or know someone who might want to, please fill out the form below! [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
Until Next time…