Some of the issues I deal with have become more bearable now that I blog about them. On my blog, I’ve mentioned before that I used to visit a depression forum. I think the forum visits helped me endure through the big break. After a while, though, the forum jumped the shark for me, or I jumped the shark for the forum. I popped into the forum occasionally for a bit. I thought that I should help people out as much as I’d been helped there. But visiting the forum soon turned into more of a chore than an activity I actually wanted to do, so I drifted away. I felt guilty because I did want to help.
However, I found that going to the forum began to trigger me. It never had before, perhaps because I was too preoccupied with my own problems. But at this time I’d read others’ posts and feel the heart-wrenching agony that I was helpless to alleviate. I could say soothing words all I wanted, but I couldn’t force the person to listen. I wasn’t triggered to revisit some of my issues; rather, I was triggered because there was so much misery and at the end of the day, I really could do nothing. No matter how often I tried to help others on the forum, there’d be still others to help and so on.
I’m not sure how this is so, but the blogging community is different for me. Reading others’ blogs doesn’t trigger me. Of course, I care about all of the bloggers whose writing I read, but I don’t feel the same hopelessness about the situation.
Perhaps it’s because there’s a communal catharsis at work in this environment. We like to read others’ words and know they can relate. Others like to read our words and know we can relate. We often reach rock bottom, but we will write about it to educate others or perhaps hold ourselves accountable for our actions. We don’t write solely to ask for help, but to display the complexity of our lives with our ever-present issues.
And in doing that, we get the help we need. One aspect of blogging we like (at least that I like) is the knowledge that someone somewhere is listening and cares. We establish a dynamic rapport with other bloggers. This rapport includes more than shared experiences with mental health, although that’s at the heart of it.
Back to what I’ve noticed of the before and after of my blogging days. Having blogging as an outlet keeps me from bottling everything up so that it slowly builds up within myself. It makes my inevitable explosions less intense than they would be otherwise.
Therefore, I wanted to say thank you. Thank you to the welcoming, kind blogging community that has allowed me to join it. Thank you for giving me a place where I can let out what’s in my head and know that someone will listen to it. Thank you for giving me a space where I can speak about certain issues without censoring myself.
Thanks for being my friend.
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