One of the things I’d love to develop here on The Rest Room is a sense of community.
When you live with a long-term health condition, it’s so easy to feel isolated and misunderstood. But there are people out there who get it. And that support can mean the world.
So, with that in mind, I’d love to get to know you. Writing a newsletter, after all, can feel like a bit of a one-way street. I’ve learned so much over the years through conversations with people in comment sections, and met some of my closest friends in online communities.
Please comment on this thread to share who you are, your experience with chronic illness (if you’re comfortable sharing it!), and any interesting, creative things about you. I’d love to read your work, look at your art, and learn about your online shops! So please do share links to those too.
I also know there are a lot of people subscribed who have loved ones with chronic illness or work in the supportive/medical field. I’d love to hear your stories too!
And since we’re trying to build community, I’d also love to hear what you wish you’d known about living with chronic illness when you were first diagnosed, and what advice you’d offer to others.
I’ll go first: I’m Natasha Lipman, and I’m the writer behind this newsletter and voice of The Rest Room podcast.
I won’t go into my full story here since I write about it a lot on the newsletter, but: I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in 2009, after spending my entire life not understanding why I had such a “weird body”. I hoped that a diagnosis would open up doors to treatment, but sadly over the years my health declined substantially and in my mid twenties developed PoTS and a histamine intolerance, among other issues. I spent a good chunk of my formative years alone in my bedroom, but over the last few years have had access to care and support which has slowly enabled me to build a life that I never thought would be possible. I’ve just been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and am in the process of figuring all of that stuff out!
I joined Substack in February 2022 after leaving my job at the BBC because I was really struggling in the aftermath of a flare-up. When I’m not working on my own projects, I’m the Content Lead for Visible, who are building an activity tracking platform for illness, not wellness. I’m also learning Yiddish which has pretty much been the best thing I’ve done as an adult. Oh, and I’m desperately trying to learn how to pace so I stop massively overdoing it. It’s going…ok 😂
Over to you! Please introduce yourself and share your story ⬇️