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It's been mentioned before that I slip into depression from time to time. . . For me, it has never been of the suicidal variety, as you hear about so often. . . Rather, it is the spiraling, emotional, self-destructive, get lost in my own thoughts, want to sleep all the time variety. . . When I was younger, I kept a few journals. I don't know if depression plagued me then, but I've always been an emotional, highly analytical person. . . As I got older, somewhere along the way, journaling fell to the wayside. I don't know if I just didn't have the patience for it any longer or if I simply & genuinely forgot all about it.
After my mother died when I was a teenager, & as the years went on, a recurring pattern of depression emerged. It always seemed the worst during the winter months. I never could tell if it was directly related to the decreased amount of sunlight in the Pacific Northwest or if it was simply the time of year — typically from beginning to mid-November all the way through January & a good chunk of February. My mother's death was on January 11, 1999.
I was 17-years-old & a senior in high school. At the time, I kept myself busy, hanging out with friends, working at my job at the local department store. . . Whatever I could do to keep my mind off the fact that my mother was in & out of the hospital, staying the night a couple of hours away, & coming home on the weekends or whenever her treatment for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML — apparently, one of the most aggressive forms) would allow.
To this day, I haven't quite figured out which took hold stronger. . . Has it really been the memories of that last holiday season before my mother's death that has me slipping into a depression every year? Or has it been my lack of sufficient amounts of Vitamin D in the grey winter months in Western Washington? Either way, most years, by the time January would roll around, I was at my worst. Between the anniversary of her death & then her birthday on February 5, I couldn't resist the feeling of sadness & overwhelming helplessness. It's hard to explain the feeling to anyone who hasn't been there. . .
At any rate, I had been reading the blog of one of my dear friends (Khai of Duffel Bag & a Dream) & somewhere along the line, I got it in my head that maybe it would be something that I could enjoy doing too. . . The more I thought about it & talked it over with the handsome husband & picked Khai's brain, the more it seemed like a healthy outlet for the likes of someone like me. . .
I have always enjoyed writing. . . & it has definitely gotten to the point where I can type so much faster than I can put a pen to paper. . . & with a brain that takes off as quickly as mine does — from one subject to another — blogging seemed like even more of a sure-fit. The conflict lied in where I wanted to draw the line on how much I shared. (This is the Internet, after all! Once it is here, it can be seen by nearly anyone! Is that really what I wanted?)
When it came right down to it, I realized that — at least at first — the majority of my readers would be limited to the handsome husband, Khai, & a select few other friends or family members. . . In fact, it was next to nothing anyway. . . I convinced myself of this, then got started on WordPress in January 2013 with a post about non-resolutions. LOL.
I posted a few times, then took an unscheduled hiatus. Then, in March 2014, after becoming a housewife & moving to a different state, I realized how important this outlet had become for me. I picked things up a few notches. . . I purchased a domain name & put a little more thought into what I was doing.
Now, I still struggle, from time to time, with how much I really want to share. . .But, for the most part, I realize the difference my blogging makes in my overall well-being. As much as I over-think, having a way to get some of the crud in my head out of there is highly therapeutic! Plus, the more I get into it & poke around at other blogs for inspiration, the more I realize that there is so much more of a sense of community with blogging than I had ever realized before!
Link-ups have been totally fun lately. . . It's a good way to spark some extra inspiration & to find other blogs & bloggers & to start different conversations on a variety of topics. . . I've learned that some even make money doing this — although, it is not my objective at all. . . There is an extremely noticeable difference in my mood & contentment when I am regularly posting, versus when I am stagnant in my writing. . . & there is no direct correlation between the content of my posts & that mood. . . All that seems to matter is that I am genuine & that I put myself out there at least a little bit.
Life is too damn short. I have experiences & emotions & a unique perspective. I might as well share it. . . & even if no one pays attention, it feels good to get it out of my noggin' & “meet” a few others in the process. . . (& maybe even keep my now-long-distance friends & family in the loop of what is going on in my life).
If you blog, why did you start? If you don't blog, what do you do as an outlet? Please, share in the comments below, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with me on Facebook.
This post was written in participation of the Blog-tember Challenge, hosted by Bailey Jean of the Brave Love blog. Today's prompt was “When did you start blogging and why?” Click here to see what other bloggers had to say.
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Love your post. Love the line “no direct correlation between the content of my posts & that mood. . . All that seems to matter is that I am genuine & that I put myself out there at least a little bit.”….you know it works for you, so you must continue! [Have you tried keeping a gratitude journal? I keep one every day and it really keeps me ‘grounded’ in that it forces me to keep everything in perspective…I write down five things each day that I’m thankful for and write one ‘this was the best thing about today’ sentence. I started in January and, after a few weeks it became a regular habit and has, I know, enabled me to keep happy and keep going – perhaps give it a try?]
Thank you, Helen! You’ve mentioned the gratitude journal once before, I think. . . I have thought about it. . . I just type so much quicker than I write — I find myself getting frustrated when my already-racing mind has to slow down to the pace of my pen. I started participating in the weekly Ten Things of Thankful link-up. It’s every Saturday. I have found that helps quite a bit. Now, throughout the week, I am seeking out things that I am thankful for so that I might include them in that post. . . It has been a tremendous help. Similar idea, no?
Hi. I followed a link from Khai’s WordPress. 🙂
Very well put. I agree, it is great therapy.
Thank you! I am glad you found your way over. I appreciate you taking the time to say so. 😀
(I will have to thank Khai again for re-blogging. 😉 )