The private vs the public

It’s the early hours of the morning and after two nights of sleep, my insomnia is back. I would take the dogs for a walk in the snow but I’m now in a built up area, rather than the rural peace and tranquillity of Somerset, so staying in doors seems like the wisest course of action.

And so, some bad TV and the internet.

And over the past hour or so, re-reading the lovely comments some of you have left regarding my last post, not to mention the texts and Facebook messages, I have found myself wondering why I felt the need to blog about the anti-depressants.

And after dismissing several theories, I have decided that my motivation is actually quite simple.

As a child and a teenager, I wanted to keep a diary or a journal, but was never able to keep up the habit. I eventually stopped trying and never really thought about it again until I discovered blogging in my mid-twenties. Here, suddenly, was a medium that appealed to me, and as the days and months passed, I found that I was able to write for other people in a way that I couldn’t write for myself. Even in my early days of blogging, back in the mid-noughties, when days would go by with only a handful of hits, I kept writing. Politics, humour, memes self-analysis, personal anecdotes… it was all there. And I found it a release. Expressing myself became easy, even though I stuck to general issues, rarely posted anything too personal.

That blog has long since died a death. The only record now exists in some back up files on my old laptop, which I can’t get to work.

This blog, by contrast, has been a lot more personal, largely because of the security that comes from its anonymity. Ok, so it’s not completely anonymous, but my real name doesn’t feature!

And what I’m doing is a lot more personal as well, even if everything is up in the air. Growing your own veg, producing your own eggs and pork necessarily forces you to be more in touch with who you are. When you kill a chicken, pluck it, draw out its guts and then cook it and eat it, you get to know who you are.

But writing about it?

I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s something that I’m drawn to. I view my blog as a journal, a record of my life, and to skirt around or ignore the issues and events that most affect me, whether it’s the birth of a new litter of piglets or facing up to the need to take anti-depressants, would cause problems for me. To not be able to blog about certain subjects would render the blog useless as I simply wouldn’t write it at all. (It occurs to me that this explains my absence for most of November and December…)

Now is a time when I need to write, to express myself, to gather my thoughts and put them in some sort of order. And a lifetime of trying demonstrates that I need to do it for other people, whether they read it or not. I don’t know what that says about me, but at this point in time, I really don’t care.

What I don’t know is how open I will be about the specifics. Some of the bloggers whose writings I follow are extremely open about their lives, the good, the bad and the tragic.

I don’t know if I would ever feel comfortable being that open, so bear with me if you don’t understand what I’m talking about, if I refer to things without ever explaining them. I’ve got a bumpy road ahead but in the spirit of keeping faith with those who tell me that I can do this, I am currently determined to weather all storms, to stand firm in the face of adversity … and so on and so forth, til I run out of metaphors and readers!

Remind me, will you? Remind me that optimism and hope, even in the darkest hours of the darkest night, can cast the strongest light into the shadows, that the world is filled with wonder and delight. Remind me what it’s like to hug a friend, to feel the love radiating from my dogs, what it’s like to stand in the snow, to see the sunrise, to sit outside on a hot summer’s day, to sit indoors on a cold winter’s night in front of an open fire, to … well, you get the picture 🙂

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10 responses to this post.

  1. There is truth in the saying that it is always darkest before the dawn. Hang in there. I care.

    DH is on an antidepressant and at first was uncomfortable about the whole idea. (Yes, I told the doctor DH was depressed and as a result he admitted it and got the meds.) He has noticed the improvement and is now glad I pushed him into it.

  2. You drug pusher you! 😆 But yes, I take your point.

  3. You’re on the right track hun. You might not believe people when they tell you that things will improve, or that summer will come (hard time believing that myself!) but gradually the darkness will recede. It does feel kind of like when you get up too early in the winter and you seem to have to wait absolutely forever for dawn, until you doubt the sun will ever appear. But things will improve. And if writing helps, write. I’ll always read it, so there’s one person taking note, at least! xxx

  4. Thanks, my lovely 🙂

  5. Posted by Jan on 6 January 2010 at 8:45 am

    I kept a diary for years as a child, although it’s a pity I haven’t still got them, and blogging is just the same even though there was a 35 year gap inbetween. Since getting the internet about 9 years ago I’ve tried (well a couple of times) to have a completely private blog, but it’s totally impossible if you want folk to read it… and also share a computer! Keep up with the blogging, I like to read it!

  6. Keep at it. You have enormous strength and you CAN do it. Just hold the thought of the wonder and the delight.

  7. Cheers, Jan. I did try a private blog, but it stuttered and fell in its first week!

    Ally… Thanks 🙂

  8. Posted by Jon Storey on 6 January 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Having grown up with the stigma of “Yuppy Flue”, it was some time before I ‘confessed’ to the world that I had developed ME.

    It’s a ridiculous world we live in.

    You don’t need us to remind you about the wonderful things in life, you have just eloquently told us, but if you need a little prod, just shout..!

    Keep writing.

  9. Take care of yourself, make use of all help offered by good friends, keep talking ….you’ll get there ! and do keep writing I for one look forward to your blog. You are braver and stronger than I could ever be.

  10. Jon, I’ll certainly do that.

    And Sandra, don’t be daft!

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