I’ve had a draft of this post for awhile now, but hesitated to publish it because it makes me feel a little lame (you know how I get insecure with serious things.) However, the Studio 30 Plus prompt this week was :
“I said what I needed to say.”
I figured I should just say what I needed to say.
Shorter and lighter post next time.
It might sound dramatic to say blogging saved my life, but I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say it has been and is my buoy. It keeps my head above water. It keeps me afloat.
Because while I don’t talk about the serious things all the time on this blog anymore, that doesn’t mean they’re not there.
I’m still underweight.
I still struggle with the rigidity of OCD as it relates to food, exercise and daily activities.
Depression is not a dark cloak I can throw off with a shrug of my skinny shoulders. These are hurdles I face on a daily basis, sometimes sinking down, sometimes rising up, sometimes treading water.
Through it all, blogging is my buoy.
It’s not that I hide anything—this blog isn’t called “Abby is Extremely Well Adjusted”—but instead I blog about things unrelated to the “issues” I’ve dealt with for years.
Blogging lets me bring out other parts of me—whatever parts I choose, good or bad—and I’ll never hide behind any of those things on my blog. Maybe I still bury those things, but I’ve also let others shine through.
It’s All About Me
I don’t really know or follow any of the preconceived blogging rules of design, etiquette or scheduling. There are blogs that I read because I enjoy the people who write them, not because I think it will somehow enhance my “brand,” whatever that means, or because I want to get my name out there.
There are also blogs I know I can’t read, not because I don’t enjoy the people writing them, but because I know topics as seemingly benign as diet and exercise will trigger my competitive nature and possibly send me two steps back when every inch forward is a fight.
Sometimes I think that’s selfish, but then I realize that my blog isn’t about pleasing other people all the time. I do that on a daily basis, so blogging has become an escape for me from obligations and rules, and the only stress it brings is the stress and obligation I put on myself.
I want to make people laugh, to make people think, to connect.
But most of all, I want to stay afloat.
Actually, It’s All About You
While I hate to say I seek outside validation at times, I most certainly do. On days when I’m teetering between self destruction and self care in a variety of forms, a comment or a post can change all that.
Not to bring it up again, but the book? This was the first thing I have actually let myself feel proud about, in no small part because everyone has been so supportive.
While I in no way base my self-worth on this outside validation, I’ve found that sometimes I want that social support and connection. That’s something I’m completely indifferent to when mired in the muck of my mind, and while I have to tow the line between obsessing over the amount of interaction, seeking connection outside of my head is healthy progress.
It’s a healthy escape.
But sometimes I wonder if instead of an escape, it’s an excuse. Maybe not blogging about the ugly stuff is a way for me to pretend that everything’s fine. Health is wealth, and on those days I feel bankrupt, I wonder if I should share where I am at that point.
There is no right answer. But for now, I enjoy writing about whatever I want to share—the good, the bad, the in between—even though like everything else, I openly admit that I still put too much pressure, stress and obligation on myself.
I’m a constant work in progress.
So while I’m sure I use blogging as a distraction at times, I don’t know that that’s all that bad. Without a distraction, without a connection, without a way to express myself that isn’t revolved around other issues, I’m not sure where I would be.
That might sound dramatic, and to those who don’t really “get” blogging and the community it can foster, I realize that might sound ridiculous and selfish. But for me, being able to blog and use humor to heal has truly kept me afloat.
It’s been—and continues to be—my lifesaver.
For that, I thank you all.
Like the blog? Buy the book.