I have had this blog for over two years. This month I made it my mission to post once everyday. I thought it would challenge me as a writer, thought it would help build community. Thought it would be something that made me happy. A project to take my mind off of all the things that are going on in my life, in the world. But you know what it’s doing? It’s stressing me out. It’s making me feel like there is an unspoken barrier between me and the people I love. That somehow letting everyone in so much makes me not let anyone in at all. My blog has become substitute for actual vulnerability in my life. Maybe that’s what it always has been. Something I can point to to say that I share, that I talk about the things I’m feeling, that I’m open. But that’s not what this is. This is a way for me to distance myself from my own life. And maybe that’s fine. Maybe that’s exactly what I need it to do. But at some point along the way it stopped being fun.
It made writing into another thing that I just do for other people. Another way to bury myself. It turned into a way for my family and friends to keep tabs on me without ever having to actually ask me how I am. It reduced the week I spent in the psych ward to twelve paragraphs. It made me stop having those conversations we used to have. “Just read my blog.”
And all of a sudden everyone I work with knows I suffer from bipolar disorder and am a recovering alcoholic. And my partner’s parents know I want to kill myself. And the entire Internet doesn’t make you feel any less alone when you’re sitting on your porch at night.
So I’m shutting down this blog for the foreseeable future. I want to have real conversations. Want to write for myself because I like it. Want to learn how to let people in. Like, really in. Feel free to use the contact form to shoot me a message. I’d love to keep in touch.
In November of 2013 I was happy. I like to hold onto that month in my memory as proof that it’s possible. Evidence I can shake this ache from my bones and stand up strong. I carry that idea around with me like a seed, try to supply it with what it needs to grow. But it’s mostly guesses as to how this all works. How to properly nurture it.
I know I was getting up at the same time every day and exercising at least forty minutes. Mason and I were doing a Whole30, so we were eating well and I was cooking most of our meals. I was also participating in NaNoWriMo. But that’s all I can remember about that month. Those things and the fact that I was happy.
Could happiness be so simple? Something that wraps itself into our daily activities like brushing our teeth or checking the mail. Perhaps it slinks in and out of our lives attached to simple habits we didn’t think made much of a difference at the time. Maybe it’s not all just the whim of brain chemicals and hormones. Maybe it’s the day-to-day things.
It both needs to be simple and couldn’t possibly. Could I get that feeling back just by working out, cooking, and writing a book? If I think it’s that easy, why I can’t I get myself to do those things? The strong hand of depression closes around me so tight I can’t seem to make the movements I need to free myself.
All of it sounds so easy in theory. Get up in the morning, go run, go to work, write, cook dinner. But each one feels so monumental when you’re wrapped up in it. When you’re in the midst of depression, nothing seems like it would make a difference. The things you know help don’t matter, because you can’t make yourself believe any of the things you know. But maybe I could start.
Maybe I could get myself to remember it’s the little things that make a difference. Maybe I could get myself to remember it’s simple steps in the right direction that get you to where you’re going. I don’t need an entire garden, just a little bit of soil.