Given the numerous conversations I’ve had about my last blog post, I thought it might be good to talk about the why.
The question/observation I hear most is that my honest and candidness in these posts is that I’m very ‘brave’. I suppose making oneself vulnerable is a pretty scary thing, especially on the internet where people are savage and cruel in a way they rarely are face to face. But I don’t think about that much when I write these posts, mostly because I’m fairly certain no one is reading them!
I’ve made it ‘easy’ for me to share the way I do in several ways:
1) I consider this blog a diary
This means I’m as open and honest in my words here as I am in the small, dead trees version I have open beside me on my desk right now. The blog won’t work (for me) if I don’t treat it this way, because I’m writing this for myself and, there’s little, if any point at all, in lying or being half truthful with myself.
2) I’m finding patterns that I feel need to be discussed
Weight management, healthy living, mental health. All things that people all over the world struggle with. People close to me. People I love. Random strangers. Famous people. Poor people. Intelligent people. Young/older people. Everyone struggles with one, if not all of these things in their life time. And yet . . . beyond the myriad blogs/websites/books/articles promising quick fixes, ‘five incredible tips,’ ’10 amazing secrets’ and whatever else, I find very little discussion on what these things mean for people in a day to day context. No one talks about how hard it is to get up in the morning, or how tricky it might be to go out, knowing that there will be people around. No one talks about how they hate looking in the mirror, or that, some days, they can’t find a single thing about themselves that they are happy with. And yet, in private conversations face to face and across instant messaging, people tell me these things all the time. So why don’t we talk about it?!
It would help everyone, so, so much if people felt freer to talk about how they felt. About not being okay. About needing help. And yet there seems to be this mad social taboo that prohibits people from doing so.
Facebook is the worst: it’s packed with smiling photos, chirpy status updates and inane surface stuff that often hides the wreckage underneath. Social media is a projection of how we want to be viewed, not how we actually feel. But because of that, it’s easy to believe that one’s own feelings of misery/depression/anxiety/fear/whatever are purely ours. That we are alone.
This is not the case.
So, I write this blog to do my small part to show people they are not alone.
3) I’m thinking ahead
I’ll be honest here: I’m a writer. I want to write a book about my experiences in managing my physical and mental health, weight and general happiness. I want to reach a point where I can help people, not with a ‘do this guide’, or even a ‘try it my way’ book. What I want to do is share my journey and open up a discussion about what I’ve been through and, by extension, what other people are going through. The book I have in mind will be biographical in the sense that it follows me, but (hopefully) helpful in the sense that I talk about things as they are, not sugar-coated by the need to appear perfect or an underlying desire to make money through promising people a solution to their problems.
So . . . that is the why.
Hmm. Feel better having that clear in my mind.