Life.Documented is a project by Stephanie from Positively Melancholy. Its all in the title... she documents her life daily with a photo and a short description. It would be an interesting project for anyone to do but I find it particularly interesting because Stephanie has M.E. - the same illness I have.
I have always been reluctant to talk about my illness. Blogging is an escape for me, a chance to forget about being ill and distract myself with beautiful, interesting, pretty things. I don't like to talk about myself much, and if I do its about the good, happy things in my life. I don't want to share the difficulties or the reality of life. This blog is just about the good times! (I've even been too shy to tell you that my absence from the blog in December was because I had such severe pain in my arms that I couldn't lift them to type - Sorry!)
But the problem is that in real life I find it really hard to explain to people what its like to live with M.E. Maybe its because I'm afraid people will think I'm moaning or feeling sorry for myself, or because I don't want my illness to define me... whatever the reason, I find it almost embaressing to talk about having M.E. I automatically play down my illness and put on a brave face, even for friends.
So I see what Stephanie is doing with the Life.Documented project as extremely brave. She is opening up her life for everyone to see the reality of living with M.E. She does it without self pity, presenting it as just one aspect of her life, alongside her fashion blog, her photography and the design business she runs with her partner Stuart. Yet she is not afraid to show the pain of life with M.E. or to let us see the tears that go with it. Sometimes I even find it upsetting to see her pain and to watch an echo of my own life knowing that sometimes I can be distracted but I can never really escape from life with M.E.
I have been following Life.Documented from the start (she's now on day 57 of 365) and its definitely worth following as Stephanie reveals what its like to live with M.E. 365 days of the year. She presents it beautifully and does it without lecturing or moaning, just by being open about her life. (You can click on each photo to go directly to that diary entry)