A year and a day ago, at my wit’s end, isolated and alone and pretty much bed bound, I took a huge and significant step to pulling myself out of the rut I had become stuck in; I started trying to get a life or at least return to something that felt less like just an existence – I took a chance on the Internet and on myself and started a blog. Yesterday, almost 100 followers, and thousands of views later, that blog – this blog – turned 1 year old. Compared to most blogs the figures I mention above are minuscule, but I started this blog as my place to let everything out and I never imagined anybody would care enough about the words I wrote to even hit like, let alone follow.
A year later I find myself stuck in the presence of another rut. Life seems to be a bumpy ride involving lurching from one rut to the other with periods of normality in between. Without this blog, those ruts would become canyons. The comments I receive on these posts sometimes genuinely move me beyond belief. They always drag me out of the isolation and crippling loneliness that boundaries imposed by my physical health create. I would say this blog saved my butt, but in truth it has been the people who read these posts, every single awful one (to clarify, awful posts read by AMAZING people). Your likes and comments make me feel good for something when my health and self hatred rob me of any belief that there is a purpose to my presence on the planet at all. You make me smile when it is the last thing I can imagine doing. I have met some amazing people through this blog, some of whom I still need to email (I haven’t forgotten!).
Thanks to the responses my raw, uncensored (and hence often poorly written) thoughts get in this blog, I feel less isolated by my emotions, less alone in things that most of my friends and family do not understand. I can have the difficult conversations here, I can work everything out and let everything out and for some reason people seem to want to read along. But every like and every comment reassures me, makes me feel less pathetic and encourages me to keep expressing myself through this method as I so clearly need to do. As a result, this blog is the only place I feel I can be my true self (I now add the presence of my fellow third wheel to this list). I don’t have to pretend to be anyone here, I do not have to hide my weakness or my emotion to shelter anyone, there is nobody to protect and rarely anyone to offend. I post irritatingly often I am aware, but I need to. Sometimes I have a lot to get out. Sometimes it is just boredom. All the time, whatever it is, this blog fixes it. It has done wonders for my self confidence at times.
Through a year of writing myself out of ruts and into others, I have found one thing that will always have a positive impact on my life. The people who follow this blog know more than my family even, which makes me feel like a pretty awful human but also helps me avoid conversations I would never know how to start. My family have been hurt enough and what they don’t know will not hurt them yet. I would shred myself to keep them whole. I will hurt and go through things alone to spare them the pain of the worry whose thumb I am often pressed under. Sometimes they are so frustrated at me for being so defective that they want little to do with me. So I blog. Always with the blogging!
And the year that passed has been an interesting one. It started with minor heart surgery, and followed the rollercoaster of my first year of university (I am kidding, it was not a rollercoaster it was an emotional apocalypse with added despair and at times heaven on earth). All I had wanted was to go to university, and that dream came true. This blog followed the near death experiences right from freshers’ week when my body started as it meant to go on and put me in intensive care. I have made friends, lost friends, gained an extra set of parents (uni parents) and pushed them out of my own reach too. I was pushed to leave university for a year over and over, people doubted me, I was unsupported and I was lost and I had nowhere to turn and nobody to talk to. Except this blog. I clawed myself back in the direction I wanted to go. I ended up in a wheelchair at uni in the end but I sat my exams (most of them). I wrote an article for the mighty recently, which isn’t a big deal but was a huge deal to me because I was amazed by the response my writing got and it really encouraged me to believe in myself a little more.
And the people following my blog… You guys came with me on my first ever holiday with friends, you were there two days later when I was in an intensive care unit and you’ve been on the journey to finding out about a minor brain injury with me… And my sight may never be normal again, I may never see clearly and I may never get rid of the shadow in my left visual field…
But with the help of all of this, with all of you (and especially with the words of uni dad) I realised that no matter what is thrown at me, there is no way but through.
Thank you. Sincerely and genuinely for reading this blog, for clicking those stars and that plus and for even reading at all. I told myself I’d never make a post like this, but I had no idea how important this blog would be or become to me. So again, if you have ever read this, I apologise for the awful and rambling nature of my writing, but it means more to me than you could ever imagine that you read the things I put.
I owe WordPress an awful, awful lot.
So this post if for all of you for a change. I feel I owe you the post I swore I would never write. Congratulations, I am a stubborn thing that hardly makes exceptions, but the kindness I have encountered here deserves exactly that.