OMG my blog is nearly a teenager! How did that happen? The same age as two of my beautiful nieces! I hadn’t realised she was born on the same year as them but oh how time flies. Yes What Allergy is a girl! Of course she is!
It’s been a wonderful journey. From the day I first began this blog, I’ve learnt so much and met so many amazing people along the way. So I thought I’d give you an update on what I’ve been doing this past few years. I know I’ve been blogging a bit less frequently so apologies for that. A lot has been happening!
I’ve noticed a lot of new people subscribing to this blog lately so WELCOME! Thanks for following me. I am 48 years young, am anaphylactic to nuts, dairy and soya, also allergic to wheat, tomato and celery and also nickel, latex, dust, animal hair, pollen, mould, grass, weeds, idiots! What are you allergic to? Please comment below and if I can I’ll do some blogs especially for you!
I’m now a twice published author!
I can’t believe I really am, but it’s true. I’m a proper author of real actual books with my name on and everything. Never let anyone tell you can’t do what you dream of doing. If you want to be a unicorn or a yellow button you might have some issues achieving that, but I stand by this, if you want to, see if you can. Don’t let others tell you you’re not good enough, that it’s too hard, that you should set more realistic goals.
I found my old diaries over lockdown and in them I often wrote that I wanted to be a writer. And no one believed I could. Not my teachers, nor my careers advisors for what good they were! One of my suggested career paths was secretary at a veterinary surgery – I am quite allergic to most animals so that as a non starter. I felt that these dreams were unachievable and so I kept them to myself to avoid anyone else telling me I couldn’t do it.
I wish I’d had some encouragement but I am glad that I kept on writing because that’s what eventually got me where I am today. Write! Write how you feel, it’s been a really useful therapy tool for me too.
My advice to anyone who would love to be an author but feels it’s unachievable would be this:
- Read! Read what you love and learn about the authors you enjoy reading too. The more you read the better your writing will be.
- Write! Journal, doodle, scribble, write a diary (as I did from age 12 until about 25), write poems and short stories. Write about the things you love.
- Educate yourself. I have now done quite a few writing courses, both for work and pleasure and these have been invaluable.
- Explore ways of making it your job! I became freelance about the same time I created this blog and the work I love most is the writing jobs. I’m a copywriter at heart but I could be writing blogs, articles, press releases, website copy and brochures or even short tweets and social media post copy. By doing this it keeps my writing brain active.
- Carry pen and paper with you – you’d be amazed at when ideas pop into your head. Make notes, make plans, make wish lists and the more you think about it and dream about your passion, the more it come to life!
- Just do it! Believe you can and you will.
My first book, ‘The Reluctant Allergy Expert – How to kill the fear that anaphylaxis could kill you‘ tackles the difficult subject of anaphylaxis and the fear of having a severe allergic reaction. This can become overwhelming when your trust is broken over and over again. I am so proud of this one and an humbled by the feedback from all the courageous allergy people out there who find it helpful.
My second book, ‘The Shape of Skin‘, has been a lifetime in the making. It’s full of poems about eczema, itching, self love, despair, topical steroid addiction and withdrawal and also hope for the future, for healing and better skin. The reviews of this new book have blown my mind. I’m so overwhelmed.
I am planning proper or perhaps virtual launch events for both of these books soon. Lockdown kind of got in the way of a lot of my our book promo plans but where there is a will there’s a way! I’m looking into ways of making this fun, inclusive and interactive.
I’m also writing again on another book project and have lots of ideas for future books!
Healing my own way
If you’ve followed this blog for a while you’ll know I have been struggling with topical steroid withdrawal. It’s been really tough but finally, after two years and three months I am feeling like I have some lasting healing. Since December my skin got really bad, mainly on my face, which has been very hard to cope with. My sleep is pretty awful, but all that is improving too. I’ve noticed I have way more energy, my sleep is improving, I am using less ice packs, waking up at a normal time and am able to walk, run and do more. I’ve been doing regular daily yoga now for over 45 days and am loving it. I am sure this is really helping. Meditation, breathing, positive affirmations, gratitude practise and just slowing life right down are all really helping. I really do believe that one day I will not be in this hideous cycle of pain, inflammation, crisping and peeling and flaking skin because none of that is real eczema. It’s the side effects of damage done by those topical steroids, used for over 40 years of my life, so it’s going to be a long journey.
Finally thank you, to those who have been following me for years and to those who are new to this blog. It means so much that people find my blogs and read them. If you have read this far please pop a little comment below. Tell me how you found my blog and why love it. Or ask me a question, or tell me what you’d love me to blog about.
I have so many ideas for future blogs but find I’m not making enough time so that’s going to be a goal for me going forward. More blogs! More writing. More books!