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Health-related online support groups

6. Sharing your story

Sharing your story can feel like a big step and you should only do this if you want to. It's nerve wracking – our stories are important to us. You will be surprised by how many people feel a connection to what you share. However, it is also fine if you'd prefer not to share your story or just have a quick question to ask.

When sharing it can be important to think about the following:

  • Recognising that your story is your experience and so will not be identical to others’ stories is crucial so that others can feel that they don’t have to identify with all elements to benefit from it. Phrases like “this is of course just my experience” can help here
  • Group members may have never met a person experiencing similar issues and so just reading your story can be extremely helpful
  • It can be helpful to acknowledge where you are in your own journey
  • Your story will change over time and at no point in sharing do you need to feel you have all of the answers. Early on, your story might be about your feelings and the different decisions you need to make, later on it may be more about the decisions you have taken and what has helped.
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