I’ve been pondering the idea of sharing my blog with my family and friends.
I imagine many of you can probably relate to the desire to keep your blogs secret. Many of us, particularly those who blog about mental illness, tend to create a pen name and don’t reveal our true identities on our blogs. While my name is truly Kerrie, I haven’t shared my surname on here because I’m afraid someone I know will find my blog.
But here’s why this makes me a little uncomfortable. The purpose of my blog is to help other people with mental illness and their friends and family learn about what it’s like to live with one and dissolve some of the stigma that surrounds it.
I have been more open lately with the fact that I have bipolar disorder and a lot of friends and family have been really supportive. More importantly, people have felt I’m a safe person to talk to about their own struggles. I’ve also found there’s a lot of people out there that don’t know much about bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses, but they’re genuinely curious about it because it’s in the media so much and they want to help.
It’s important to me that I can inform these people. They want to learn and understand and I want to be able to give them that opportunity by directing them to my blog.
I just haven’t plucked up the courage to share it with anyone yet.
Why? I’m afraid of judgement. I’m afraid people will read it and think it’s crap, or they’ll decide I’m attention-seeking or cliche.
I’d like to be unafraid, but no matter how you talk yourself around it, criticism hurts.
Today I read a blog post by Chrissey at The Unabridged Sass about the fear she once had about sharing her blog. She posted this quote which I found awesomely inspiring;
“People get scared when you try to do something, especially when it looks like you’re succeeding. People do not get scared when you’re failing. It calms them. But when you’re winning, it makes them feel like they’re losing or, worse yet, that maybe they should’ve tried to do something too, but now it’s too late. And since they didn’t, they want to stop you. You can’t let them.”
I can list several friends who have gambled in undertaking personal projects that are close to their heart which others have sneered at them for. While it hasn’t worked out for everyone, a lot of them have been really successful. I admire those that were less successful too, because they moved on to try other things and they didn’t lose anything by it. Meanwhile, the critics have lived the same day a thousand times within the safety of their comfort zone and they don’t interest me at all.
So whether my blog is failing or succeeding, I don’t care anymore. I’m going to begin sharing it. Not in a big way, that’s not really my style. Maybe one day I’ll post a link on my personal facebook account or something. But for now, if someone asks, instead of vaguely saying “Oh it’s just a blog about things in my life” and then quickly changing the subject, I’ll let them know exactly what it is.
“I have bipolar disorder and I write a blog about living with it. It helps me cope with it and I like the idea it might help others who have it too, or want to learn about it.” Then I can share my URL with them if I like. Not so hard!