The holidays have begun. I thought now would be a good time to say THANK YOU to everyone who has been reading my blog; I launched Fashionably ill ® in 2012. For my virtual thank you card to you, I chose this painting I made of The Northern Lights. I have always loved astronomy. Here are a few highlights of our journey together in anachronological order:
–That time you all helped me make Lauryn’s 17th birthday special. Cynthia, a reader, wrote to me asking me if I could ask people to send cards to her daughter, Lauryn, who would be spending her birthday in the hospital. Lauryn has myasthenia gravis and cerebral palsy. Cynthia told me she and Lauryn were amazed by all the cards, flowers, and balloons everyone sent.
—Hearing From People Everywhere. To date, my TEDx Talk (“How To Get Stuff Done When You Are Depressed”) has 1.5 million views. After NBC News did a profile on me in 2016, I started getting messages from people around the world every day thanking me for the Talk, and sharing their own life stories. I still get messages from people every day. There was a time when I thought I could respond to every DM and every email if I tried hard enough or just locked myself in my room for a month, but that has proven impossible. The past few years I have done a lot of work with groups like Protect Our Care and the Healthcare Rights Coalition to fight for healthcare access. Mental health awareness is great but all the awareness in the world for this illness or that illness does not matter if we do not have healthcare. I fight for both awareness and access by fighting to save Medicaid and other essential programs that are under attack. Fighting for healthcare takes time. Anyway, I want you to know that even though I cannot respond to every message and email about my Talk that I do read and cherish your messages.
—Every online Twilight Zone marathon party we had — I’ve now hosted 5 New Year’s Eve (48-hour) parties on Facebook and several July 4th marathons. I remember one New Year’s Eve when Anne Serling, the daughter of TZ creator Rod Serling, attended one of our parties. When Anne started answering fans’ questions in real time, I almost fell out of my seat. I started the online party in 2013 so that people could gather together virtually to watch The Twilight Zone during SyFy‘s iconic annual marathon. You can join the closed group, Twilight Zone New Year’s Eve Posse, if you to be
–How I met many of you after writing this post, “5 Reasons People Abandon a Sick Friend.” At the time I wrote it, I didn’t realize it would strike a chord with so many. One night, I was going to bed and it hit me, Dunbar’s Number! That’s it. That’s the missing piece of the puzzle. And I just wrote the article at 12:30 am and hit publish. After that, a floodgate of stories opened: people who lost their friends after getting diagnosed with an illness, surviving an accident, having a stroke, or some other life-altering event. Many years later, after I was reunited with a college friend of mine, I was inspired to write a sequel to that article called, “5 Tips For Reconnecting With a Sick Friend.”
–I launched the monthly newsletter in 2015. I send topical articles — last month’s newsletter featured the article I wrote about the Top 29 Mental Health Apps with testimonials from users. If you sign up for my newsletter, you get a free gift–a Depression Tool Kit. The Kit comes with 10 tools for getting stuff done when you are depressed and scripts to help you advocate for yourself with professors, employers, and loved ones.
These Articles Are Coming Soon!
These are of the few articles coming soon–some written by me and some by guest authors–on the following subjects:
- dealing with the emotional toll of weight gain from medications
- managing your finances when you have a chronic illness
- strategies for managing S.A.D., Seasonal Affective Disorder
- an article whose title will be something along the lines of, “Disabled People Don’t Owe You An Explanation”
The best way to stay updated and get the latest blog posts is to subscribe to my free monthly newsletter HERE.
What Do You Think I Should Do?
A lot of people have asked me to upload videos to my YouTube channel about how to get stuff done when you are depressed. Next year, if I have energy, I am going to upload bite-sized videos on this subject on a biweekly basis. How long do you think the videos should be? I have a bad back so they can’t be long.
- 3 minutes?
- 4 minutes?
- 5 minutes?