Wednesday, January 24, 2007

another passenger on an already tippy 'blogging identity' rowboat

What blogging identity? This is me.
It's been the case for most of my life that other things came first. Now I am an empty nester. Now it is my turn.
This is The Me Show.

For me, blogging serves multiple purposes...scratch paper, soapbox, creative outlet, forum, entertainment, social contact, and therapy.

Most of all, for me, blogging is journalling. I believe that most people who journal do so with the secret hope that someone will read it. (Admiringly and with great interest.) I admit it, anyway. But when I've tried journaling in the past all it did was focus my negativity and reinforce my introversion. I mean, I already occupy this space so whats the point, right? I already know what I think. Thats what makes this venue invaluable...people read and comment, people who do not know me, who have no meatspace social agenda attached to our acquaintance, and who do not interrupt. You can read, or not. You can comment or not. And you can agree, or not. In turns.

Blogging isn't conversation. Sometimes conversations take place in the comments lounge, but this part - this isn't conversation...it's more like an old-fashioned social night at a boarding house, where everyone presented an entertainment or a contribution of some kind, in turns. And that's where the value of this medium lies. Anonymity, commentary, taking turns.

I'll tell you what, I would never have even thought about getting published had it not been for this place, and my daughter turning me on to blogging. And one year after starting this, I'm published! I'm writing every day. Those flabby little neurons are getting a workout.

Another benefit of blogging has been that it has kept me interacting with other people. For an ordinary person, living in a rural area and getting cut off for a couple of weeks every winter, that would be valuable, but for a person with clinical depression it's been golden.

That is why it tends to be sarcastic, bitchy, silly and downright juvenile around here. Also pretty blue. Laughing and having fun is better than bleeding to death in a bathtub.
Ever said 'Get over yourself and cheer up' to someone you were just TIRED of listening to bitch and piss and moan all the time? I said that to myself. Now I'm making something to cheer myself up. And sometimes, lemme tell you, it's all I can do.
It's working.
This has been one hell of a year at times, kids, but it's also the first year since I was diagnosed that I haven't had to have my medication adjusted.

So yeah. Blogging:
It's better than a peck in the head with a sharp rock.

28 comments:

  1. All of my identities are confused.

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  2. Anonymous8:53 PM

    I've heard tell that most creative genius type people suffer from depression at times.

    So look on the bright side baby!

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  3. I think most of us are here just hanging on by our fingernails - does that mean we're all geniuses . . .hhmmmm . . .geniusi . . ...geniusss. Oh bollox, obviously not me then!

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  4. Anonymous1:25 AM

    mist1, i must tell you, i find the frozen goldfish highly disturbing. please tell me it didn't suffer.

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  5. My dear FN, you have been busy while my 'puter's been on the fritz. You could script an award-winning episode of 'Night of the Killer Zombies' from your posts.

    I don't know if you've seen but this side of the pond has been discussing Real versus Virtual personalities - if you're interested, go to http://culturalsnow.blogspot.com/ because Tim's got four handy links under 'Another Fine Mess'. We haven't really touched on the therapeutic side though - it's interesting what happens to the story of your life if you think someone else is going to read it!

    Do you discuss the blogging v. medication thing with your doctors?

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  6. ps killer living room suite.

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  7. Re journalling ..."focusing negativity and reinforcing introversion" Thank God, I thought that was just me!

    For what it's worth - I read you with admiration and great interest. Happy First Year of blogging - long may you continue!

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  8. Anonymous6:53 AM

    Actually, i was always petrified that someone would read my paper-journals and find out what a shallow, whiney, introverted, pathetic person i was.

    Or, in high school, that my mom would find out i was a bit of a whore. Eh.

    Good for you for finding a cheap, helpful outlet. Sometimes the anonymous social circle is really, really supportive.

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  9. mist1: thats the first step towards integration! keep on eating those green m&ms!
    pam: oh geeze *blushing* most prison inmates, too.
    ziggi: yes, we are all geniuses/ prison inmates. you can be trustee!
    cb: not any more, probably. and now she doesn't have to feed it!
    mangonel: well my goodness yes, thats where i stole the topic from! i lurk at tims place and patroclus' place all the time. they are my heroes of writing and thinking smartness! and yeah, i wondered where you were!
    hendrix: it's been an honor to have ye. i am still utterly cowed by the splendour and the majesty that is your last post. that and blogger lost my comment when i tried. i mean, damn, girl.
    claire: guess what? MY MOM DID. so yeah, that kind of blunted my need to express myself a leetle bit...

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  10. Hurrah for blogging and all that it makes us do!

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  11. Wow. Well put. I also noticed that my paper journals just reinforced the negativity, and blogging is better for me because someone, somewhere, will call my shit if I get to self-absorbed. Yay.

    But your blog also has the side benefit of making me laugh until my face aches.

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  12. What alala said, only more original and with pretty words.

    Depression sucks, but you rock, FN! I am glad you are a bloggin' foo'. ;o)

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  13. Anonymous11:06 AM

    I didn't know that journal was a verb but I guess if blog is a verb then journal could be one too. Diary doesn't sound like a verb though unless it has something to do with diarrhoea which it can do if I'm doing it.

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  14. Anonymous11:12 AM

    I have never kept a diary/journal in my life - but I enjoy blogging and reading peoples blogs, it is strange I can't explain why to people when they ask why I do it, but its definitely theraputic.

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  15. Anonymous11:45 AM

    I love blogging(I was introduced by Frobisher) , altho sometimes I feel unworthy when I read the quality of writing and inventiveness regularly produced on you lots blogs.
    I have 'met' fantastical people (present company included) and some great and original ideas and ways of expressing things.

    Blogging and bloggers are just so cool.

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  16. Good for you, and amen to that sister.

    In addition to basically just whining in my journals, they never lasted long. I find that the blogging serves me better because it can be read and so I see some need to keep it updated in some fashion. I don't think I would be able to keep it up as an activity otherwise.

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  17. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Pamela's comment has me doon pat, of course we also want to delete our blog every other day.

    this is a funny intelligent blog, most that have Blogs shouldn't, how can it be all about you when its all about me?

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  18. I was raised by a mother who said,
    "It's better than a slap in the belly with a wet fish." Which I prefer to being pecked in the head by a sharp rock. Do I have a choice?

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  19. No. The head peckings are mandatory and will continue till morale improves.

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  20. Anonymous7:28 PM

    So...one way or another, blogging seems to be where people get a fix-it fix. Therapeutic, fun and 'way cheaper than a psych. couch.Or a postage stamp!
    Keep 'em coming, FN

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  21. I admit it, anyway. But when I've tried journaling in the past all it did was focus my negativity and reinforce my introversion.

    That was me. I have had a diary since the 6th grade...but as I got older, it became more of a pity journal, only writing of the bad things, feeling sorry for myself...I was feeding into it.

    Now I blog about anything. It helps alot when people comment, more than they know. It gives me a chance to interact with others, and escape from the madness of my life...if only for a few seconds.

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  22. Anonymous1:33 AM

    Happy first year FN, out there living in the country, you old hippy chick you. I don't think blokes keep those kind of diaries, I didn't anyway. But I do like to have somewhere I can shout my mouth off, and yes, cos someone might read it, it might be about me but it's actually written for someone else. Much healthier I'd say.

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  23. Anonymous3:42 AM

    Blogging: more fun than being punched in the face by a double helping of strawberry trifle.

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  24. Many happy returns for the first year. You're certainly doing better than I was at that stage, when I was still getting (zero) comments and an audience of two friends from real life!

    I tend not to use blogging in a cathartic way either - if you're feeling depressed, all you do is go round in circles making yourself more depressed (well, that's how I've experienced it anyway). A bit like I imagine counselling to be.

    Anyway, you have a gift for self expression so long may you carry on.

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  25. Anonymous8:48 AM

    我是唯一的人在这里附近没有blogging 的身分!
    I am the only person do not have blogging nearby here the identity!

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  26. I like your boarding house analogy. Very apt. We all take turns on our own little stages. And, yes, I agree that it helps keep the brain chemestry on an even keel. I have no idea how that works, but it does, and with no calories, no side effects, and no price tag. What more could anyone want?

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  27. Anonymous6:51 PM

    fn, you rock and I so relate to the blogging as catharsis. It really is helpful and my small circle who checks in on me are the most amazing people (yourself Included) and help to sort through things. The meds help but this is certainly a step in letting go and just saying what I feel. I have to agree on the journaling. I felt like I was writing The Bell Jar(and I never even read it that I can remember). Anyway, keep up the good work. You're in the right direction for sure.

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  28. Ooh bloody hell, how late am I? I really like that analogy about blogging being like everyone presenting some kind of DIY entertainment of an evening. That's exactly what it's like, with chatting afterwards in the comments!

    Also v. glad to hear that blogging has given you the confidence to get published, that is brilliant, because your writing is fabulous. It's given me tons of confidence as well - I created my blog persona as the kind of person I would like to be like (i.e. quite gregarious and sociable, and not afraid to actually open my mouth and say things), and gradually I became more like that person in real life. I've fixed more psychological problems by blogging than the entire four years I was on medication did for me. Plus I've met hundreds of interesting, funny and lovely people along the way.

    Hurrah for blogging, essentially.

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