This months Twenty Questions interviewee is Sheryl from A Chronic Voice.
A Chronic Voice covers a wide variety of topics around chronic illness. Stories, tips and musings from guests plus Sheryl herself, providing insights into what life can be like with a chronic illness, covering subjects such as relationships, finances, physical and mental health.
I have to agree with Sheryl on Question 3, unpredictability can be quite a challenge.
Clever answer to question 5!
Great response to question 16, I hadn’t thought of that. You could also give them some kind of drastic hair cut or tattoo! Sorry, I’m terrible. Your answer was so much more mature!
My Questions/Sheryl’s Answers
1. What made you decide to write a blog?
I wanted to get back in touch with something I love doing – writing. I also wanted to speak up more about chronic illnesses. I think every little bit counts!
2. What do you want your blog to achieve?
I hope to raise awareness in the people around me and beyond, perhaps not so much about the specifics of the illnesses in and of themselves, but to always remember to have some empathy for others. You never know who’s suffering in silence, and things aren’t always as they appear to be.
3. What is the most difficult thing for you about having a disability/illness?
The unpredictability. I never know what the pain levels will be like the next day, or come nightfall. I never know when my ovaries are going to explode (true story). That makes simple, everyday tasks and travelling a little more frustrating to manage.
4. What is the biggest positive about having a disability/illness?
Becoming comfortable and intimate with my body. I believe those of us who live with pain gain a sensitivity and understanding of how our body works, and of every subtle change that’s happening. I’m aware of my limits, and am no longer embarrassed to advocate for myself or others.
I’m going to throw one more in sorry! 😉 I would say I’ve gotten to meet a lot of amazing people in my life, simply because there’s no way anybody selfish is going to stick around.
5. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
Maybe sushi, then at least I can mix up the ingredients every day!
6. An apocalypse is imminent, you have 30 minutes to prepare, what 3 items do you pack?
My passport, phone and medications. Am I boring or what? :p
7. When making tea would you pour the milk or water in first?
I drink more herbal or floral teas at night, either plain or with honey. But if it were good old tea, then water first.
8. What is your favourite way to relax?
Road trips! Long distance train rides work, too. I always fall asleep and miss out on half the scenery, but maybe that’s also a good thing because it means that I’m relaxed 😉 I love falling asleep and waking up to a totally different landscape. It feels like I’m doing something without doing anything (on a regular day I get anxious when I’m not ‘accomplishing’ something). While I love the internet and spend a lot of time on it at home, I also love disconnecting from it while travelling, which also helps with relaxation.
9. If you could interview any human, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you ask?
Kurt Cobain. “Do you want to have sex?” Just kidding! (Maybe not.)
10. What would be your dream job?
A travel literature writer. The sort who immerses him or herself in an ancient culture for years, in an attempt to understand it, and preserve it through writing. I actually feel that the preservation of languages and cultures may be one of the most important tasks for humanity. With every death of a culture or language, our world view shrinks, and with that, problem solving skills and understanding as well. We may be getting ‘smarter’ in one sense, but this comes at the sacrifice of many other sorts of intelligences and ideas. Sorry I ventured off topic for a little bit there, but it kind of explains why I find travel literature writing fascinating 🙂
11. You’ve just won 10 million pounds (congratulations!), what 3 things would you do with the money?
Buy a nice house some place nice (we’ll need one for life, right?). Give part of it to my parents and partner (they’re the ones who care for me financially now). Try some previously unaffordable cures for my illnesses.
12. Where in the world would you most like to visit and why?
Iran (or Persia, just because it sounds more romantic ;)). The architecture is gorgeous, the complex history is amazing, the food is delicious, and I’m sure it’ll be quite the adventure!
13. What one thing would you change about yourself?
Perhaps to be less sensitive. By that I mean, stressing out at every little thing kind of sensitivity. Perhaps it’s to do with self-worth.
14. If you could play any part in a film, past or future, real or fiction, who would you be?
Maybe Lagertha of the Vikings TV series. She was, according to legend, a Viking shieldmaiden and ruler of what is now Norway. She inspires me with her strength and dignity, at least from the series’ portrayal 😉
15. If there was a pill that would freeze you at your current age and you could live forever as you are now, would you take it? And why?
Hell no. Be ill for life? Come on! :p
16. If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
Maybe with somebody I dislike, just to see what it’s like to be so opposite of me. Perhaps it will open my mind up a little as well, so that I can have more empathy for others.
17. If you could time travel, where would you go?
To the days of Alexander the Great, or Genghis Khan. I want to see how they conquered the world manually, purely reliant on human intelligence and handmade tools.
18. If you were made Queen and allowed to pass one new law, what would it be, and why?
Gosh, I’d pass so many new laws, ha! One would be to place a heavy tax or ban on plastic goods and chemicals – anything that harms our planet, and in turn, us.
19. What personal trait has gotten you in the most trouble?
I don’t think I get in a lot of trouble 😉 When I was younger, perhaps my pride. I’d continue on something even though I was hurting myself. After I got sick, I realised that pride is just one big useless illusion. Not to be confused with dignity by the way, although the two do overlap in some areas.
20. As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
A policewoman or a ‘real’ kung-fu fighter. In old Chinese movies, there are two worlds (or societies) – the civilian world, and the martial arts world. The martial arts world was tougher, more mysterious, and many of them were wanderers. I didn’t want to be a ‘fake’ kung-fu fighter a.k.a. living in modern society, if that makes sense haha! I know, ridiculous 😉
I’d like to thank Sheryl for taking part and giving a brilliantly positive and insightful interview. You seem like a lady full of gusto!
You can find out more about Sheryl, her life and the lives of others with chronic illness over at her blog A Chronic Voice.