Wednesday, 22 October 2008

While I'm Still Writing.

What good do these blogs do? In regard to people going through 'bad times/lives"? Do they help? Do they hinder? Do they cut the crap? Do they romanticise? Do they do good or do they do bad?

I'd love your input on this, because I'm beginning to feel very ambivalent about whether they are a positive force or not.

Case in point: the other night someone said to me: "I don't understand why people in a crisis want to 'let it all hang out'." I replied: "It's loneliness and isolation that kills people."

Ok, the conversation was longer and more involved than that, but that gives the essence. I stick to my view, but I worry about questions of 'tone', of 'propriety', of 'sensible description'...

I try to be honest to my own experience. But I don't want to be putting poison into the environment. That's it, really.

Please, thoughts, welcome.


la said...

This is something I've often thought about too. I've asked myself if my blogging has become self-indulgent, if I'm making a fetish of my own unhappiness, if it's helping me or anyone else... I can't give you an answer to any of these questions.

But I do agree with you. I do think, on some level, we are writing to connect. When someone identifies with what I've written, when they recognise themselves in my story, then someone has seen and understood and that means all the world. And, as you might have noticed, blogging wouldn't mean half so much without the comments.

Besides that, it's instinctive to purge, if not in public then in private. Letting it all hang out might be distasteful to some but keeping it bottled up inside is unhealthy.

Tone and propriety... Yes, I've wondered about that, too. Should I have said exactly how it felt to self-harm? I wanted people to understand and how could they understand if I didn't tell them? But these kinds of posts are not positive or forward-looking. They're mired in past pain. And maybe I'm splashing around in it and enjoying myself a little too much.

At the same time, I want to be honest.

Immi said...

To connect, that's why, and that is good, I think.

Lola Snow said...

I like to have it all written down, so when I'm low I have some proof that there have been good times, or at least less bad times. Plus I really want to believe that it'll look back on this in a year or two and think that I am so lucky to have changed my life.
And checking to see if anyone has commented is just about the only thing which gets me out of bed in the morning. That cannot be a bad thing.

Matt said...

I'm wondering the same thing. I've been blogging for years, but I'm only just getting serious about blogging about my MH issues.

I'm too lazy to read the other comments right now, but I will say that people write to be read. And in the case of MH, and specifically, SI and even more specifically suicidal ideation, disclosure is correlated more cloesly than any other factor for predicting when people will...act. So blogging, with a good treatment plan, could be a good way to track how you are doing, and it gives you a way to show your thoughts to others.

I often times wonder how crazy I seem to myself. I've got to put myself out there. I've got to write those ideas down and just do it when I'm thinking about it, because I can't always call up my therapist and be like "I JUST HAD THIS EPIPHANY!"

As for a purgative element to writing...I am don't think there is one. I think writing can end up being a source of major frustration and anxiety, and many writers who at one point started writing therapeutically (Sexton) ended up disavowing the practice.

I will say that blogging is where I say what I want, and I don't censor anything. While I am up front with warnings of TRIGGERING CONTENT, and that i DONT ADVOCATE these things for anyone else, I still write about them. To me, it is not hypocritical because:
1) I have a mental illness
2) I have used these behaviors to cope with said illness
3) said behaviors have been reinforced for over a decade
4) behaviors and thoughts are inter-related

So any discussion I have about my behaviors will inevitably bring up how I view my self, my beliefs, desires, etc. And those will lead up to my mental illness at some point, which is something I'm still learning about...

Anyhow, I say keep writing. I'll read!


la said...

You might find this post of Nessa's interesting. (I started commenting to say I'd had the same experience but I guess I got distracted.)

actionreplay said...

my blog is slightly less important to my well being these days than eating and breathing.

I have been writing a blog since 2001. Learning to articulate how I feel and posting it for public viewing works as a type of emotional purging. By writing, I am putting into words exactly what is eating me and it helps deal with the frustration and isolation and not being able to articulate what's going on inside your head. It got easier to do this with time, now I can go on for paragraphs at the drop of a hat.

Putting it out in public means I am submitting my 'unworthy' self for judgement and when people read and comment it does a little to combat the self-hatred.

It's what kept me alive last January, and sane for most of the past 5 years (well, sane-ish).

I like reading similar blogs, because it reminds me that I'm not alone.

Abysmal Musings said...

Thanks everyone. So, to connect, as a record, self-discovery, as a purgation. Yeah, I think that sums it up.

I certainly would never let myself believe I was in some of the states I experienced in the first quarter of the year if I hadn't written anything down...

But perhaps forgetting or self-denial is part of the healing process? Who knows...

Mark p.s./Mark p.s.2 said...

I got here late. Blogs are good to express thoughts and emotions, hopefully to compassionate readers. If one keeps thoughts and emotions inside themselves they can fester and become "bad". So I think its good tool to keep oneself sane, and receive some feedback.