I posted this blog a few weeks ago, but being selected for the “Freshly Pressed” and “Daily Post” it seems more germane than ever. I’m humbled and grateful for the overwhelming response of love and support. I still have my struggles, and always will. But this outlet and connection to the world and all the positive feedback has made an enormous difference in my perspective and resolve. I will survive this. And perhaps along the way I can help someone else survive their own struggles. This is what makes it all worthwhile. ~Thank you for being there and taking the time to share my journey.
Almost every blog I’ve ever read eventually does a ‘Why I write’ article and I guess I’m no exception. I think maybe it’s a way to convince myself that there is a valid reason and a reminder as to why it’s become important to me. I don’t feel like I need to justify to anyone why I go through this, but I’m hoping that if people know what’s behind my thinking perhaps it’ll make it more meaningful to them.
Writing helps me to organize my thinking. Even when my thoughts are bouncing like a ping pong ball in a clothes dryer, I have to force myself to focus on one subject and try to present it in a reasonable and rational way. Sometimes it comes easy and I can knock one out in less than an hour. Other times I struggle to put it all together; writing draft after draft until I’m satisfied with the result. Coming up with ideas is the same. Sometimes I wake up knowing exactly what I need to say, other times I have no idea. I try to write something every day, but I’ve learned that forcing a topic is like a fart: Push it too hard and you end up with crap.
I spend too much time by myself and the blog is a way to fill the lonely hours. Even when I have an idea that more or less writes itself it still can take about an hour, plus I spend a fair amount of time thinking through everything. I shouldn’t admit this but many times I actually do my writing the first hour or so at work. For the most part my job isn’t particularly busy and it helps fill up the day. I have a fairly long commute so I’ll think through my ideas on the drive in, and then write them out sitting at my desk. At least I look like I’m working as I pound away on my computer.
Being alone so much of the time I feel like my blog is a way to connect with others. Even though it’s completely anonymous I know that others are reading my words, and it’s almost like we’re talking, even if it is a one sided conversation. The comments I get are wonderful; it’s affirmation that others can relate and sympathize. Even without the comments I can see how many people have read what I’ve written and the country they’re from. It’s extremely gratifying when I have a high number of ‘hits’ especially when they are so far away. I don’t write just for the numbers, but it does help fulfill the need to be connected. I’m constantly looking for ways to get my words out to others.
It may sound conceited, but I like to think I am helping others. I have a story to tell, and I know how important it is to me that I know I’m not alone in my suffering. So hopefully my words help someone else realize that they’re not alone and that there is someone who can understand and sympathize with their own circumstances. Even though I’ve only recently accepted my illness, I’ve been dealing with it a very long time. Maybe my experiences and thoughts from so many years of coping can give someone insight into their own disease. If I have helped even one person, then it I have been successful.
Finally and most importantly, I write for myself. This blog has become a big part of my therapy. Not only does it keep me organized and occupied, but thinking through ideas and organizing my thoughts help me to realize many things about myself and my illness. For the most part I try to keep my words upbeat and positive. To be completely honest there are many days that I’m not doing nearly as well as I might sound, and my writings are based more on how I should be doing rather than how I actually am. But that’s a good thing; it helps me keep things in perspective and sometimes I can convince myself that things are not as bad as they seem. It’s not that I’m being dishonest; far from it. Writing about darkness and suffering only reinforces the bad feelings and won’t be of any help to anyone, especially myself. That’s not to say I’ve always been successful. But even the down or out of control articles can give me hope. When I am feeling strong and healthy I can see how far I’ve come and when I’m not it keeps me hopeful that I can get through it again. Having a written record of past moods gives me something tangible to focus on. It’s a way I can support myself and I frequently go back and reread old things I’ve written.
The bottom line is I would keep writing even if no one ever read it or I had no feedback whatsoever. There are enough positives with just the process that make it all worthwhile. There are times I write for hours that never make it to ‘publication’. It may be too personal, or painful, or just an idea best kept to myself. But the writing helps me learn things about myself, gives me focus and organization, and gives me a purpose and a goal. I write for me; everything else is a blessing.
Thank you for reading.