Thursday, 19 October 2017

Why Blog?!



You know that old iPhone advert (which subsequently became a meme) that had the tagline: There's an app for that"?  Well, I was thinking about this blog the other day, pondering what to write about next, when I realised many of the subjects I was thinking of, are ones I've already covered, sometimes more than once.  In other words: There's (already) a post for that.

That's not just because I really like repeating myself.  Although, anyone who works with me and hears the same story several times because I insist on telling every colleague, may beg to differ...

It's because this is what I do.  I think about things, I mull them over and put my feelings into words on the virtual page.  It helps to untangle the thoughts buzzing around my incredibly noisy brain (and, if there's not a blog post about my noisy brain already, I've definitely made a YouTube video on the subject).

Sometimes, the things I write are merely observations on my own silly quirks, or on life in general.  Other times, I might want to write something about a hobby or a passion of mine.  Then, there are the occasions when I see something on the news, or read something online, that shocks, angers or upsets me so much, I feel compelled to publish something on the subject.

All of it is done because I'm someone who finds that when thoughts are bubbling up in my brain, I need to get them out.  As I mentioned earlier, writing things down helps to untangle my thoughts.  I would rather sit for an hour, sobbing over the keyboard as I write a piece on a horribly upsetting news story, than lie awake at night, feeling sad about it.  I'd rather bash the keys furiously and post an angry blog on a subject that gets my blood boiling, than find myself on edge and becoming snappy with the people around me, because I've been unable to have a damn good vent.

Now THIS is a damn good vent...

And then there are the personal blog posts.

Yes, I talk about my life on this blog.  My ups and downs, my crushes and heartbreaks, my best days and lowest points are all frequently found here, in one way or another.  And it's for the exact same reason as I write about anything else: to declutter my brain and try to straighten out my thoughts.  By writing stuff down, I often find that I understand a situation better.  Sometimes, I understand myself better.

I have always worn my heart on my sleeve.  It's no secret that if you ask me how I'm feeling,  if you're close enough to me, then you'll get the honest answer, warts and all.  I don't hide my feelings very well.  This weekend, for example, I tried very hard to mutter a casual greeting to my mum as I wandered past where she was sitting.  However, moments earlier, I'd had a ridiculous sobbing session in my room, over something that actually, I should have brushed off like sand from a beach towel.  Still, my skin has never been particularly thick and so I was upset by this thing and, despite my desperate efforts to hide it, my mum saw through me right away.  That's just how I am.  If I'm soppy over someone, you'll know it (they probably will, too).  If I'm angry, I'll rant to whoever's listening.  And if nobody's listening, then I'll blog about it, safe in the knowledge that even if nobody reads what I've written, at least the words aren't pumping furiously through my veins, anymore.

And when my heart feels battered and bruised, the only thing that helps is to talk my feelings through.  Whether it's to a friend or family member, to myself (shut up and don't judge me) or on this blog, I have to release my emotions into the wild.  Keeping them inside feels like swallowing poison; I can feel my emotions churning in my guts.  Vomiting words onto a screen helps to ease that sensation.

I feel no guilt about any of that.  No shame, whatsoever.




One thing I love doing is looking back at old blog posts to see where my mind was, when I wrote it.  Was I happy?  Sad?  Angry?  Hungry?!  

Okay, I'm always hungry, so that's just a given...

But old blog posts tell a story when you read them consecutively.  In the last year, regular readers all know there's been a bit of a storm in my life, involving people I was exceptionally close to.  And yep, I blogged about it.  I shared a lot of the details.  Not to be vulgar or to publicly shame anyone.  But because, throughout all of it, I felt I wasn't being listened to, and I needed people to hear me.  The only outlet I had was this blog.  I felt like I was constantly screaming, internally.  When I wrote a blog entry, the screaming went down a notch or two.  Writing about what was happening became cathartic.  It stopped that churning in my guts, even if only for the hour or two I was writing.  If I could make myself laugh with an appropriate gif, all the better.

And yes, a lot of those posts were angry.  But if you read those angry, hurt-filled posts in succession, you'll notice something.  You'll see a person going through - and I say this with no irony - the stages of grieving and coming out the other side.

From furious rage, to sadness that took my breath away, I poured my heart out because I needed to.  And I make no apology for it, besides understanding that those two people I loved and missed from my life may have found it uncomfortable reading, had they ever stumbled upon those posts.  But, as time went on, the posts were written by a person who no longer had the red mist of anger swirling around her.  They were written by a woman analysing her own behaviour.  A former friend, accepting that her pain had been caused by someone else who was also hurting and that I had made plenty of mistakes, too.  It was talking about things - and writing all of it down, too -  that helped me reach that place of understanding.  So when I look back at those posts, whilst some of the anger makes me blanch, I understand the process I went through.  I appreciate how I came out the other side.


I have written about a great deal of enormously personal things on this blog.  Bullying, my childless status and my experience of abuse, just to name a few.  The abuse posts have been just as cathartic as anything else.  I've written furiously about what I went through, sobbing over my laptop as I remembered things I'd tried to bury, but equally, there are posts in which I talk about using what I went through to help others.  

Grief of any kind is a process and writing things down - getting it all off my chest - has always been one of my most trusted ways of moving through that process.  Without having the capacity to write things down, I would find it all too difficult to cope with.

And sure, I could write a diary (actually, I do).  But writing things openly and honestly gives me the benefit of knowing that I might inadvertently help someone else who happens to be going through something similar, be it abuse, dealing with weird personality quirks or fallouts.  It also forces me to write better than I would if I were merely jotting everything down in my diary.  I can practise the hobby that I love so much and exorcise a few demons in the process.  Seems like a pretty good deal, to me.

Without this blog, many of the thoughts I've had in my head over the past 11 months would have been too heavy to handle.  

Without this blog, my rage at injustices I see in the world, would have no decent, safe outlet; it would be internalised and my body would writhe with it.

Without this blog, I would have taken far longer to have discovered the joy of poking fun at myself for the amusement of others on a much grander scale than I have chance to do in "real life."

This blog is me and my life.  Why write it?  Because it's a part of me.

And I don't intend to stop.





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