Where Do I Start? How to Share Your COPD Story
"I want to share my story but don't know how to start."
If this sounds like you, you are not alone. We have heard people say this quite often in the COPD community. Getting started can be the hardest part. Especially if this is the first time you have ever shared your COPD story.
Sharing can be scary at first
After spending time and energy hiding or downplaying COPD, it can be scary to think about sharing all of a sudden. You might wonder how others will respond, or if they will respond at all. Or worried that nobody wants to hear what you have to say.
I can assure you that is not true. I read every story that gets submitted to COPD.net. Each and every story has a tremendous impact and helps raise awareness for the challenges of living with COPD. You never know who will read your story, and how they might be able to relate.
After finally taking the leap, many people will say that they cannot believe they waited so long to share their stories. Some will even say that sharing their COPD story is one of the best things they have ever done.
Ready to share?
I have gathered the components that make up many COPD stories and outlined some pointers to walk you through sharing your story. While there is not a single format or structure for a story, I hope these help you with sharing yours – whenever you are ready, of course. Time to get started!
Start with a short introduction about yourself. Remember your audience does not know who you are, so include relevant aspects about your background or interests. How long have you been living with COPD symptoms? If you've been diagnosed, share about that experience, and how you were feeling about it.
Your symptoms and treatment
Many people will open up about their symptoms, and what they have been doing or trying to manage them. They talk about their visits to the doctors, and what they are learning about their condition. Have you undergone any tests? What treatments, if any, are you using, and how has that been going?
How you are doing today
The end of the story usually includes a reflection or an update on how the writer is doing. Have you made any progress since the beginning of your journey, or have things gotten worse? What mental hurdles are you facing? Have you found support online or in-person? What are your hopes or plans for managing your COPD?
Do not forget to make it personal
No 2 stories are the same. Be sure to incorporate some personal touches to make your story unique to you. Whether it is your raw emotions, your sense of humor, or writing your story like a poem or song, your story can be as unique as you are.
I look forward to reading!
-Alesandra (COPD.net Community Manager)
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