Behind the Scenes Sunday

Writing with a Chronic Illness

Let’s take a peek at the cogs inside the machine and talk about why I write and how I write on Behind the Scenes Sunday! Today I’d like to talk about the struggle of living a creative life while dealing with chronic illness.

For the past thirteen years or so, I’ve dealt with a chronic illness — Ulcerative Colitis. Honestly, I don’t like to talk about it. Essentially, I have an overactive immune system that attacks my intestines and causes all kinds of none too fun problems for me. It’s landed me in the emergency room more than once, and can derail my plans at the drop of a hat.

99% of the time, I have my UC under control. I’m on immunosuppressant drugs that keep everything quiet. Of course that means I’m more prone to other kinds of illness (common colds, viruses, etc.) but trust me when I say I’d rather have a cold than deal with a UC flare up. A cold sucks, but a UC flare up can literally take me out of commission for weeks at a time.

This fact surprises a lot of people who don’t know me very well. I hear a lot of, “Well, even if you’re stuck at home/not feeling well/not at 100%, at least you can still write, right?”

No. I can’t.

Writing is an incredibly mentally, emotionally, and yes, even physically taxing activity. And when your body is not operating at it’s best, creating anything, ESPECIALLY art, can be hard. And that’s frustrating. When you want to express yourself artistically but your body is getting in the way.

So I do my best to take care of myself. My body. Honestly, I could do a little better — eat better, exercise more, but it’s a work in progress. And it’s not entirely under my control. But I’m learning to take control over the parts of my health that I can and be gentle with myself when my chronic illness makes decisions for me. It’s all people like me can do.

As always, if you’re interested in supporting me and my work, thank you: Hungry is the Night, my paranormal romance, is available on all major platforms, as are my classic murder mysteries with scifi twists, The Cadence Turing Mystery series!

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Published by rsjeffrey

Robin Jeffrey was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming to a psychologist and a librarian, giving her a love of literature and a consuming interest in the inner workings of people’s minds.

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