Folks, I have some huge news. After 4 amazing years of blogging on Heart Attack at 31, I am now moving forward with a new blog, Life After 31, to include more of a lifestyle approach to my blogging routine. My new blog will have stories, wedding planning, life events and a more rounded approach to what my life is like these days. I will always have HeartAttackat31.com, and will continue to monitor the stories, comments, emails and tweets from all of the amazing survivors I’ve spoken with through the years. The blog will stay at the same site and hopefully continue to do what it has done the last 4 years-tell my story. The website is not ready to launch yet, but I wanted to give those who have followed me this far a heads up. I hope you respect my decision and continue this journey with me. heart emoticon
As I sit here writing this blog post, I have a number of browser windows and two Microsoft Word documents. I am reading an article on WordPress plugins, looking at my Facebook page and checking my @heartattackat31 twitter. Then my Word docs are the new list of scavenger hunt items and Amazeball Race rules. I am conflicted.
I have been writing this blog for almost 4 years. This is fantastic, since I have gained so much from this experience. I’ve found my own little cathartic corner of the universe to vent, scrapbook and connect. I have emailed, facebooked (yes I made that a verb) and spoken with people all over the world and been a part of projects I could only dream of. But now I feel like I’m at a crossroads.
Do I continue to only blog about my heart attack and my work with AHA or do transform this story into what it is now-a way I live my life. I’d like to keep the integrity of the blog, which is why this blog won’t ever be removed, but I’d like to start blogging on my life as it stands now, maybe with the perspective of gratitude and forward motion. Thoughts? I’d really appreciate them. My tentative name for the new blog is LifeAfter31.com.
I literally haven’t typed in this space since February.
I swear there is a reason.
It’s not an excuse, but I’m going through something….weird.
Something I can only describe as survivor burnout.
The end of 2014 was absolutely amazing. My story was featured in Good Housekeeping, I was on the Dr Oz show, and I was emailing with survivors and their caretakers from all over the world. Every time I checked my email there was a new message from someone who had just had a heart attack or gone through a life altering event. I responded to as many as I could, sometimes late into the night. I heard the stories of survivors, mostly women, who needed someone to talk to who understood what they had been through. I couldn’t say no. Meanwhile I was still volunteering, going to the Go Red For Women luncheon, working with my local AHA Passion Committee, and guest blogging for websites.
It hit me around March that I was sad…too sad. I had taken on the stories of others, worrying about their health and futures and rather than empathizing I had begun sympathizing. I was feeling their pain and reliving my trauma over and over again. I felt guilty when someone’s situation was worse than mine and devastated to learn of someone’s passing. I realized I needed a change.
I want to help others, but I have to find a different way of going about it. A healthier way.
So if I haven’t emailed you back, responded to your comment, or sent you a return message on Facebook, please forgive me. I am working through this and I will be back to me in no time.
To celebrate and raise awareness, I’ve started a Happy Heart Campaign! For the month of February I will be tweeting/FBing with the hashtag #happyheart to say what I’m doing to keep my heart happy and healthy. Please do the same. Also, I made a shirt for the campaign. I will be donating a portion of the proceeds to the American Heart Association! So please get yours today! My goal is to sell $200 shirts!