(Image: Me in Cortona, Italy 2022)

I’m signing off this year with Italian flare.

I’m trying to stay positive after yet another messy year. It almost feels like two years have passed in the last 12 months. A mega roof restoration for our Wesleyan Church marked the first year, and the second year was marked with a spectacular trip to Italy.

In between, there’s been ongoing pandemic effects, the heartbreak of ongoing war, and a Federal and state election in Australia, where I live. And now the finale of this year is ‘get ready for the recession’!

Mamma mia!

In addition to the stresses, I’m getting resentful of social media’s over self-righteousness. UGH! 

Can we become any more judgmental in our supposed aim of making the world better?!

What happened to quiet respect for one another without all the labels and pointing fingers? Where has the ability to see intent gone? 

The battle to express the best view is becoming ugly, not informative. We’re not learning anything; we’re just gaining more narcissistic qualities. 

The more we customise our life through feeds, the more we distance ourselves from reality.

The offer to be perfect through cancelling, removing, unfriending, swiping, unfollowing, and to support causes, sign petitions and wish everyone a happy birthday is making me crazy, not perfect!

So, to explore this idea further, I resort to my trusty self-assessment method, ‘Soula, how would you tackle this if it were a design brief?’. 

Che cosa?

The aim of finding a solution begins with a core question, ‘Soula, why are you on social media?’.

Is this a question leading to a beginning or an ending?

It certainly begs me to ask the most critical question: does this website still need to exist? 

When I began pudendalnerve.com.au, information about nerve pain hardly existed online. Chronic illness management wasn’t even a concept, so I saw the need to tell my story.

I’m not sure I need to keep telling my story now. Hasn’t enough been said? I don’t really have much to say, given I’m pretty stable now. And to be honest, I don’t like the dread I feel each time I have to write, thinking my intent might be misinterpreted.

As years pass (almost 16!), I see abundant resources online which are up-to-date; mine are slowly expiring. This is a great thing – no one should experience misdiagnosis, and there should be plenty of help for all the symptoms and frustrations I endured. 

Indeed, my enthusiasm has also switched – I’m focused on My Health Story. I realise that the best way to manage chronic illness is to prevent it! If you can’t prevent it, you need to manage it. And that’s not possible without effective communication.

Chronic health management must begin at the core if health teams can ever tailor our healthcare.

As I write this post, I am exhilarated after meeting researchers who are writing a management program for people living with stroke. The researcher who is coordinating the program and the exercise physiologist were both very impressed with the behaviour change qualities that My Health Story encourages. And they also recognise that My Health Story can help people navigate their long health journies.

This experience is far greater than any blog I could write. This conversation could lead to helping thousands of people. As far as painful sitting time goes, I couldn’t spend it on a more significant outcome. 


I’ve got lots to mull over this holiday season. But I’m in no hurry to make big decisions.

So instead, I’ll resort to my extensive training in going slow and pacing myself and incorporate a little Italian siesta along the way – all great management tips for avoiding social media’s needy quality to scroll, scroll, and judge, judge.

Buon Natale