This may sound a little strange but it is true. I live with several autoimmune diseases and sometimes it’s very hard to stay positive. When there is a flare, an increase of all symptoms, it’s easy to feel down and get even worse.
Writing helps me stay positive, but not just any writing. Writing and creating my Chargimals. They are little monsters that each represent a specific health condition or general symptom. They live in al alternate universe called Chargieville and have adventures together despite their limitations.
The world we made up in our minds
I am the person who creates the adventures for The Chargimals. Together with my partner in crime Jenni Lock, we live in Chargieville. In our minds. I can see the characters walking around in my brain and go on the adventures we create for them. My daughter (8) occasionally helps us write stories too.
Focus on the positive
How does this help me stay positive you may think. First of all the stories focus on the positive things you can do while living with limitations. This makes us think about all the things we would be able to do. By focusing so much on the positive in a constructive way, it makes me feel better. It makes me feel that, yeah, I am able to do things. I may just need to do them in an adapted way, but that’s okay.
I can think about my issues and how I would work around them. The Chargimals go on adventures that I create in my mind. To me it feels like I am actually there. Like I am going on adventures as well. On my good days I have a clear mind, I can write and leave the house as well. On a bad day I can’t come up with new stories because of my brain fog, but I can read the stories I’ve written so far, or work on one with Jenni (giving feedback is easier than actually writing yourself) and have them make me feel better.
Writing these stories and making memes gives me a way to release my frustration with certain aspects around living with my autoimmune diseases. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. When I read the stories to my daughter before bed she absolutely loves them. The Chargimals are living and breathing personas in our house. We know them all by name and know what their personalities are like.
It gives a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging when people reply with “I feel the same way”.
An unexpected friendship
Secondly it has given me a friendship with Jenni, the writer. We met though Facebook and really bonded over writing these stories. It gave me a partner in crime, someone to confide in, someone to share it with.
Last but not least, it strengthens my bond with my daughter. She adores the Chargimals, and it hungry for more stories. She can’t get enough! She knows we write them ourselves, and comes up with topics and sometimes even whole stories. It’s something we can do together and enjoy, it sparks her creativity and makes me feel happy.
When I’m feeling down, having a hard day, simply fed up with being sick all the time, I can rely on the chargimals. Read the stories to my daughter, talk about new ideas with Jenni, and connect with The Chargimal Fans, which are the best people in the world!
Long story short they make me feel valued and loved, even on my worst days.