It’s a frequent suggestion. Have you ever tried blogging? “For what?” I asked. In previous years I used blogs as a way to connect with close friends, people I encounter on a regular basis anyway. It was a way for us to unwind unabashedly on bad days, commiserate over disappointing test results, essays lengthened by berry wine. The concept of anonymous (or pseudonymous) blogging was something I hardly considered, especially as a medium for stress relief.
I’ve tried to use the following to talk about certain things. Issues, bad feelings, etc. I’m sure several others have resorted to:
*And in dire situations, crisis chats. I’m not dismissing these as resources. If you are feeling the urge to harm yourself, and/or others, use the relevant resources.
The first four websites aren’t quite ideal for me. I’ll often post, and I guess because few people could relate, I’ve gotten buckets of irrelevant advice, repeated inquiries as to whether what happened truly occurred, or blatant insults. I appreciate feedback to no feedback, but over time I’ve realized that I need an unconstrained place to scrawl down my thoughts, compartmentalized and available in multiple forms. My interests vary from that of most friends and I have a hard time discussing my days and opinions on multiple things without in-person exchanges growing awkward and tiring, for all involved. Admittedly, I’ve significantly improved at discussing politics and the news without the timidity and pastel pageant answers. But explaining how I feel or the story behind a facial expression – that’s challenging.
“Your life is an open book.” This was my answer when asked why I choose not to blog. But while it is a book, in the constraints of your blog, you choose the contents. It is only as open as you want it to be. I’ve written some things that I’ve either redacted, or marked as private. But I feel no shame regarding those particular entries. I would say they shielded me from a lot of hurt if I chose to express my discontent in other ways. Likely consequences? Job termination, or an email or text demanding explanation from someone involved in a certain scuffle.
I also grapple with overanalyzing other people and things. Think of those paintings or animations where the snake begins to chew on a piece of its tail, inching forward, swallowing until the whole body’s consumed. This is my anxiety. I’ve found that the more I write, the less angsty I feel, the less pervasive certain thoughts are that flicker so brightly in my mind. Often I forget what upset me in the first place, and I’m able to proceed to whatever task I have to get done by the end of the day.
Blogging also provides the wonderful benefit of reading what goes on in other people’s days, how they express their emotions and deal with their challenges. You even see how they celebrate, what they celebrate, and you want to congratulate them too. It’s really a positive effect that crosses into everyday life. I’ve grown more cheerful, tolerant of differences, and open to the most unpredictable of dialogues. The comfort zone expands each time we step away from the last-established boundary.
What has blogging done for you?