Friday, September 30, 2011

A Day In MollyWood: On My Blog!

I 'found' molly via Twitter when I had been blogging about a month. I read her post, "The Lost Year" and was blown away. I knew. I understood. I fell in absolute love with he. The first time I saw her in my comments? I sat and stared at my screen for about two minutes in complete shock. We've gotten to know each other a little since then and she's a wonderful, wonderful woman. When she agreed to guest post for me I did a big ole funky dance around my kitchen, I'm not going to lie.

Kim, who has always been one of my biggest supporters, asked me to write a guest post on what it’s like to blog about living with mental illness. For a few weeks I lingered in writer’s block every time I tried to think of what to write. Then a common little saying popped into my head.

 

The benefit outweighs the risk.


 

This was said to me when I was 21 weeks pregnant with my second son. I needed to be medicated due to a bad case of antenatal depression. I cried to my OB telling her that it couldn’t be good for the baby.

 

She looked straight at me and answered, “Neither is a mom who can’t take care of herself while she’s pregnant or after her baby is born. The benefit outweighs the risk.”

 

She was absolutely right. Soon Brigham was born and it was one of the most memorable and blissful times of my life. The benefit most definitely outweighed the risk.

 

I think the same could be said of blogging about depression.

 

I understand the risks. Every time I write a post about depression I know more people will read it than any other posts I write. It is easily reflected in my blog stats. I get sad and the readers, they come a running. I would like to believe that they are there because they worry about me or they want to learn more about it. But I’m sure some of it is the ambulance-chaser mentality. Watching people falter is fun for some people.

 

The risks grew as my family members and friends started reading my blog. Even my mom reads it now! I used to share stories of my most difficult times only to the strangers who stumbled upon my blog. Now people I know and love read the words I write. Worrying them is never my intention. Writing is my outlet. It is the way I repair what is broken. It makes me happy and helps me heal. I know they understand that.

 

Blogging about something so personal means I have to moderate comments. It is sad but I have received a few hateful anonymous comments that if published would erupt into a catfight below my post. I don’t want that negativity on my blog so those go straight to the blog landfill.

 

One of the worst comments I ever received said that I needed to “shut the f**k up” about my depression and write about something else. They told me no one cares about it. Best believe that went unpublished. But it didn’t stop me from wondering if this person was right.

 

 

It can be risky to share so much. But for every hateful comment I receive there are also beautiful and uplifting emails sent to me each and every time I post about my struggles.

 

This email was sent to me after pressing publish on one of the most difficult posts I have ever written involving suicidal thoughts.

 

I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story. I am sitting at work reading your blog and having a weird "I wasn't the only one" feeling. Mostly because I know that girl. You are brave and strong and truly inspirational. And yes you do deserve to hear that.


 

Every time I wonder if I’ve shared too much and contemplate quitting I receive an email like the one above. The feeling that I’ve helped someone else in some small way makes me feel like I made the right decision to blog about a taboo subject.

I know talking about mental illness makes some people uncomfortable. But it breaks my heart that many people struggle even more because they feel they aren’t allowed to share it. They are afraid of being made fun of or afraid to be seen as weak or psycho.

 

I don’t blame them. I used to be afraid.

 

But being open about mental illness helps me and it seems to help others too. As long as that’s the case I will keep it up. I will continue writing because the benefit outweighs the risk.

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