I’ve always been very open about my past struggles with anxiety and depression. It’s not something I chose, and it’s not even always due to external factors. It’s just the result of some faulty wiring in my brain. Que sera sera, right?
But just because I’ve come to terms with these struggles doesn’t mean that it’s always been easy. While I’ve been fortunate enough to maintain some semblance of a functional life, there have been plenty of times that I very nearly broke under the weight of my tainted emotions.
You see, depression isn’t a single emotion; it’s a whole range of emotions that can include sadness, despair, anger, doubt and guilt. While society as a whole has come a long way in terms of acknowledging the impact and severity of mental illness, a stigma still prevails causing many sufferers to struggle alone under a veil of silence. The recent suicide of music icon Chester Bennington has again highlighted the necessity for meaningful conversations around mental health.
Then, when my thoughts were at their darkest and I felt that I could take no more, my therapist – knowing that I adored writing – suggested blogging as a means of therapy and escape from the negative emotions that had been plaguing me.
While initially apprehensive – after all, I was accustomed to writing advertising copy and editorial pieces – I started writing about my beloved craft and soon found myself completely immersed. I had to force myself to call it a night after I had been going at it for a good couple of hours, pausing only to take a sip of cold coffee.
As the therapist had predicted, blogging offered a very necessary escape, a way for me to really focus on something that I loved without fear of judgement.
I soon realized that, by telling my stories and imparting my skills and knowledge on others, I was finding a sense of purpose and taking back what I had lost.
I started writing for myself (and writing for oneself remains my number one golden rule for writers), but today it is immensely rewarding to know that others are reading my blog and, I hope, learning from me. I am so passionate about sharing my knowledge, and about being the recipient of knowledge, that I can scarcely describe the incredible satisfaction I receive from my blog.
Below are some of the ways in which blogging has helped me, and in which I believe it can help others who struggle with issues related to mental health:
- A healthy outlet. Writing feels good. It is a creative, constructive pursuit that promotes intellectual stimulation with zero unpleasant side effects that I can think of.
- A judgement-free environment. I mean, have you actually seen the stupid stuff that’s on the Internet? Believe me, you’d have to be trying really hard for the online community to deem you worthy of judgement and condemnation. That being said, you probably shouldn’t be trying to elicit those kinds of responses unless it’s for a valid reason.
- Knowledge sharing. Imparting skills and knowledge on others is a fantastic way to reaffirm your sense of purpose and make a difference in someone’s life.
- It could be your ticket to fame and fortune. Whatever your chosen topic or niche, there’s always the chance that you’ll be discovered and become the next big celebrity blogger. If that ever happens, I hope you’ll remember this article and cite it in your acceptance speech should you ever win an award.
So, thank you for reading and for giving me the opportunity to do what I love and to tell my story. After all, I have always been of the opinion that storytelling, as one of the oldest art forms, is what connects people.
Originally published at forourloveofwriting.com