… I tend to think they are both the same thing. However, I have recently noticed a very STRONG sense of egocentrism among the more “famous” chronic illness bloggers, YouTubers, &c. – not among EVERYONE by any means (or else, to whom would I really be speaking?) – but certainly a PREVALENT one. It is kind of this attitude of “Hey, look at me, I CREATED THIS.”
Let me step back for a second and just say that personally I admire the ambition and determination and steadfastness needed to succeed in doing ANYTHING as someone who lives with chronic illness, especially chronic illness that affects you more when you are younger (something like Behcet’s) or a chronic illness that is progressive (something like Lupus, frequently, and MS). It is not that I do not SEE the value that these people are providing for others – the numbers of “followers” and “views” and other metrics some of these people have are often staggering for me to think about – and that, inherently, usually means that people have found some “VALUE” for themselves in what is being said. HOWEVER, where I draw the line is the place at which someone has to point at himself or herself and say “I DID THIS.” Like, WE, AS THE AUDIENCE, ASSUMING THAT WE HAVE AT LEAST AVERAGE INTELLECTUAL CAPACITIES, KNOW THAT YOU PRODUCED YOUR BLOG, YOUR VIDEOS, YOUR PHOTOS, &C. We KNOW YOU created that Facebook group. Why the need to reiterate time and again that YOU CREATED IT! For me, that minimizes the value of whatever “good” content there is because I feel that the person who is touting his or her own work(s) has missed the most important area of all when we are dealing with chronic illness – maintaining and “growing” your own sense of “SELF-WORTH.” You can PROCLAIM you have “self-worth” and “self-love” up and down and shout it from your roof and carry around a sign … but SELF-WORTH is one of those things that hides where there is no shouting and there are no rooftops from which to shout and there are no signs. It is a quiet thing but it speaks loudly by NOT HAVING TO SPEAK.
I realize I am getting back to my … let’s say, theoretical roots(?) here, so I will bring it back a few notches. *That, in and of itself, brings up this ‘new’ idea of “humble bragging” – let me clarify – anytime I bring up my background and I am not OPENLY BRAGGING about it, I am just stating a fact so that you know where my mind was wandering off to if you come from a different background than I do – which I’m sure most of you do (I’m sure you come from a completely different background than I do as well, so it works both ways). At any rate, if I sincerely appreciate the information provided by someone, I will try to convey that information (I don’t know how frequently others do but nonetheless …). I can only think that people really try to “brag” about their creation to feel better about themselves and to appear more “whole” to their audience than they really are. That is to say, that we can portray ourselves any way we want to on social media. No matter if we have a handful of followers or hundreds of thousands or millions, the image we portray is the one MOST PEOPLE COME TO ACCEPT AS OUR IDENTITY / IDENTITIES. These people necessarily cannot know us PERSONALLY; and so, if a person feels the need to constantly declare “I AM THE CREATOR OF THIS BLOG!” … it seems LIKELY that that person feels 1. that his / her identity is absolutely contingent on being creator of said blog, and 2. it follows (sorry, again 😦 ), necessarily, that his / her identity has a VOID that is filled by being the creator of said blog (or whatever it happens to be).
How is this problematic for me? I suppose it isn’t. And I do take things far too personally, I realize. I do find myself becoming disgusted in certain situations when information I have provided that has been regurgitated by one of these “proclaimers” shortly after I have said it has been credited TO THAT PERSON and widely “regaled” … and I’m sitting here very frequently being attacked by others who tell me my information is incorrect. That’s verging on another issue altogether, I realize; and that is YET ANOTHER form of “low self-esteem” (namely, as I have said here time and again, the need to compare with others). I suppose what I am trying to get at is to perhaps take the advice of these “proclaimers” with a proverbial grain of salt. I am by no means saying such advice is invaluable or that what these people do is invaluable – but there is more to the overall picture than meets the eye. Just … keep all of your eyes open.
That is my advice this … dreary Sunday morning. I cannot even properly quote Wallace Stevens because this day bears no resemblance to “that” day. At any rate, thank you for taking the time to read this post and I will be back to elaborate and yap on about other things as soon as I am able! I hope you are all having a happy and healthy day wherever you are in the world! And if I were one of these people about whom I am speaking I would sign this every time by saying something like …
❤ Always, Beth – THE FOUNDER OF THIS BLOG AND ALL OTHER THINGS “SPOONIE SENSEI” AND THE PERSON WHO WROTE THIS PIECE AND PROVIDED INVALUABLE INFORMATION FOR THOSE READING OTHER BLOGS!
*and then I would do something goofy like this …*
Hahahaha. You know I have to throw in a little goofiness anyway 😉