Wednesday, 1 October 2008

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

Yes, three-quarters of 2008 is past, Christmas is now looming and before we know where we are 2009 will have arrived. It's a bit early to start weighing up the year to determine what sort of year it has been, but there is no reason why I can't reflect on the third quarter of this year, the period for which I have been blogging.

If you were to ask me why I started to write this blog I really couldn't give you a truthful answer. At a period when I seemed to be having a really hard time, I started to read blogs. It started with just one or two; I would read all that the person had written to their blog, or a significant part of it at least and if I found it interesting I would bookmark it. Then I would look at blogs that they read, and see what they were like. Through this means I found that the medical profession, be they qualified doctors, or medical students, seemed to be the most interesting to read. Yes, a lot of what they wrote related to medical matters, but many of them wrote around that too. Then I started looking at blogs written by people who suffered from mental illness, and found that I had a tremendous amount in common with many of them. Not surprising really, seeing that I suffered from mental illness myself. But what caused me to make the transition from being a casual reader of blogs, to being the writer of one of my own, is something that I don't think that I will ever be able to answer. The best that I can come up with is 'IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME".

My first steps were tentative. I had to create the blog to start with and I didn't have a clue how to do that. I'm not a computer whizz-kid, I'm too old to be that, and I'm female too, which many would see as an insurmountable barrier to being able to do anything of a technical nature. However, I had used complex computer systems when I was working, and was capable of using a variety of applications, many of which were highly specialized, so creating a blog couldn't be that difficult, could it? So I had a go, and within 30 minutes of starting I had created my blog, managed to find a suitably catchy title for it, had a good look at the various templates that were available to me, added a few gadgets, and managed to write my first post. It all turned out to be extremely simple; even this middle-aged woman could do it.

Having created it, I was next faced with the problem of what I would put on it. For the first few days I just wrote about whatever came to mind. It might be something in the news, or something that was mulling about in my mind. As I have said before, I didn't expect that anyone would find anything interesting enough to bother to read it, but I was soon proved wrong and I now have a relatively small, but regular, group of readers. It was nearly a month before I told anybody about the blog, and even now, there are only a handful of people who know who I really am. To everyone else I am Madsadgirl, and that is one of the joys of writing a blog, I don't have to tell anyone who I am unless I want to.

So what have I achieved with this blog? Well, as someone who lives on her own, I have found a new group of friends that I might never have found had I not started writing this. Why am I saying 'might never', when we all know that what I mean is 'would never'. I have found a way of being able to vent some of my anger at the position in which I find myself. I haven't specifically written about the things that made me so angry, it is more a case of being able to write about things in this way I have been able to channel my thoughts in a different, and I have to say, a more creative way. I also hope that I have been able to present an articulate description of what it is like to suffer from depression over the long term and the devastating effect that it can have on your life. The simple exercise of writing something to post on most days has helped me to focus on the here and now rather than dwelling on the past which it is impossible for me to change.

But, perhaps the biggest achievement to come from writing this blog, is that I seem to have regained a little bit of self-confidence. Now then Mr Smiley Happy , I bet you didn't think that you would ever hear me say that.


Anonymous said...

Well, what can I say? Despite mentioning the word a couple of days ago, when you seemed reluctant even then to acknowledge its existence, you now appear to accept it is in your (quite extensive) vocabulary and then openly use it in your blog. I'm delighted, on two counts. First, you have turned the corner. Second, your blogs are getting philosophical by their design and are proving of immense benefit for lots of others who are as vulnerable as you were (note the tense!!). You are providing a fantastic service, probably unwittingly, to a broad base of people through your engaging wit, articulation and insight into what, for a lot of people, is a very taboo subject. So, well done madsadgirl. This is the best news for a good while. Mr Smiley

There and Back said...

That's really nice to read.

Caroline said...

It is wonderful how therapeutic getting stuff outside your head can be isn't it? I love being anonymous too (though it is politic as well as convenient to be so) - you write very well and I like your perspective - great stuff