Want to hear a secret? Part of the reason I like to write this blog is because I think I’m good at it and I like to hear other people say that I’m good at it. When people say they read something I wrote and it made them think or it made them laugh or feel something, I like it. I’d say it’s like my crack but I don’t want to make light of drug addiction (seeing as I have my own issues with alcohol, maybe I should say it’s like my Bruichladdich?). I guess what I’m saying, in a way, that writing and getting feedback gives me a kind of emotional high.
Let me give you an example: I recently wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper regarding a student at the high school flying a Confederate flag (you can read it here http://auburnpub.com/skaneateles/opinion/letters/letter-enjoy-freedoms-but-exercise-them-thoughtfully/article_918190ff-d864-5e24-b38a-fa1435a18ed8.html) and for a few days afterwards I reveled in the feedback I received. A neighbor left a voice-mail for me at the house saying how much it had meant to her and her daughter, who had dealt with some racial bullying at the school. At the big annual Rotary Pancake Breakfast several people came up to me in line or at the table and told me they really enjoyed the letter. A local politician and acquaintance recently told me she read the letter and asked if I’d be interested in getting more involved in local politics. It felt pretty great.
Does this sound a little egotistical? Perhaps it is. But it can be pretty damn affirming for someone with depression who questions whether they’re liked, respected or even noticed. For someone who can get anxious in a social situation or in groups of people, writing can be a fantastic way to share an opinion and a thought.
I suppose there’s some navel gazing being done by everyone with a blog on some level. After all, you’re putting your thoughts out there in the ether with SOME expectation that you’ll get a response, right?
So while I absolutely do write here in order to be more open about my struggle to manage my mental illness and let others know they aren’t alone, I also do it because I want the feedback. I want to know that someone out there is listening. You could say I’d like this blog to be the inverse of how alcohol fueled my depression, and instead have it be fuel for my treatment. By being open on the blog and baring myself to the world (or to the people who read this anyway) I’m hoping I can get positive feedback that builds me up, makes me more confident to share more, to be more honest about my depression. Alcohol brought be down, made me more depressed, so I’d drink more.
Anyway, that’s the plan. I’d be interested to find out if others feel the same about blogging as treatment/therapy.