I have put off writing this blog post. It isn’t really like me to procrastinate over anything actually so it is always strange when this type of situation arises.
If I avoid writing about something it can be for a variety of reasons….sometimes it’s because the topic is plain painful, sometimes it’s that I’m too ashamed or embarrassed, and sometimes it’s just that I want to keep something private because it matters so damn much to me, and I want to keep it close to my heart for a little while before I put it out there for people to pick at; like the crumbs thrown to the pigeons on Trafalgar square.
A blogger gains a lot from blogging and it is an immensely rewarding activity, which is why so many do it, but there is a loss, and that loss is privacy.
Your thoughts, feelings, memories and private perceptions become public fodder to be chewed over, reflected on, dissected and sometimes (if you’re fortunate) LOVED by those who read our words.
Bloggers share ourselves bravely with humanity.
Absolutely ANYONE can read my blog.
Anyone can like it, not like it, warm to it, or cool off from it, and I have absolutely no influence over that.
I also don’t know who actually reads it, despite the stats telling me number of mouse clicks on each page and post. The only people I know who read summer starts to shine are those that leave blog comments. Even those that click ‘like’, haven’t necessarily read a post. Maybe they are just being cyber friendly, or playing the tactical game of I’ll like your post if you like mine.
I don’t do “like trading”. Call me
old fashioned honest, but I don’t click ‘like’ on any post of another blogger that I don’t really like. It’s prehistoric. I know ;) Shoot me.
I don’t have time for games these days. I’m an adult and badass.
Anyway, back to the point…..the reason for my ’embarrassment’ post yesterday is I am thinking a bit about this blog, and how it fits in with me increasingly taking an active role in media and fundraising volunteering for mental health charities, as well as me building up relationships and networking with various charitable organisations on a more professional footing.
Can you be both professional and bonkers?
I bloody hope so, as that’s my ultimate aim!
I want to integrate my bonkers into a package of utter professionalism and competence. I want to use my bonkers to support survivors of similar traumas to myself. I want to exploit my bonkersness and mine it so I have maximum empathy for those I want to help via my work (voluntary or paid). BUT if I want to be seen as professional, should I even be using the word “BONKERS” in my mental health blog?!
Is me labelling my issues as “bonkersness” wrong? Is ‘bonkers’ a unduly pejorative term, or a unduly stigmatising label to apply to myself? Does writing about my mental health conditions so openly, not under a pseudonym, sometime sharing blog photos, mean I’ll never find employment?…..ever? Will my open blogging about life with mental health shoot me in the foot and drag me down so that people perceive me as ‘less than’ the non-sharers? Will people judge? Will people turn off me in huge waves? Exactly how honest should I be, on my blog and beyond? Is my personality package of honesty and candid sharing as summerSHINES bad for my professional career prospects? If I continue to blog as I do, will I ever get a serious job that is commensurate with my educational background and skill-base? Will blogging mean no one ever pays proper attention to me? Will future employers read my blog and be shocked or put off? Will they wonder how I can appear so ‘normal’, yet write about my abnormality in such matter-of-fact, black-or-white, clear-as-crystal way?
Is my blog really the best introduction to me?!
Most people are judged based on how they appear when they are with you. So what about mental health bloggers who share how they feel when they are NOT with you? What about mental health bloggers who write about thorny topics such as their own suicidality? self-harm? the agony of depression? the out-of-control panic of anxiety attacks and traumatic flashbacks?
What about mental health bloggers who are quite kooky and have quite unusual senses of humour? [TOTES JUST ASKING ON BEHALF OF A FRIEND] ;P
OMG, do I really want to be read up on by important people who can make decisions about whether to work with me?
Well, I suppose the answer is, yeah, I just have to take that risk.
I LOVE blogging, so I can’t stop, no matter who reads it and how potentially important their judgement of me is (career wise).
I don’t want to make my blog private, as I like meeting new people via this blog.
So I suppose I just have to hold my breath, shut my eyes and keep on keeping on :)
I WILL keep sharing honestly, even if it makes me look crap.
My passionate drive is to reduce stigma for mental health patients and survivors of trauma. I would be an absolute hypocrite if I decided not to blog, just to prevent the risk of people judging my honesty in critical ways that turned them off me and harmed my career prospects.
If my career prospects are limited by blogging, I guess I will have to stomach it and continue with my efforts to change society.
As Marilyn Monroe said,
If you can’t take me at my worst you don’t deserve me at my best.
So, on with my volunteering news, (the stuff I’ve avoided writing about for reason three, that it is special and I wanted to enjoy it privately for a bit first).
Apart from the parliamentary reception visit which is planned for next week, I am in talks with my local NHS mental health trust about joining the board as a service user and have some new contacts there. I am having a blog shared by the digital team at national Mind on Tuesday AND I have been invited to apply to become a trustee of a north-east victim charity, joining the board of totes important and intelligent people who steer the charity and make important decisions about how it is run, both now and in the future.
This is all FAB stuff :) I’m absolutely made up to be making some good progress, and really excited and enthused about these opportunities which are naturally opening up and unfolding in really lush directions!
This year I have worked really hard behind the scenes on my voluntary work, and believe me it is HARD work that has eaten up countless hours every day and week. I have not been receiving any payment in the bank for it, but I have approached it all conscientiously as though they are real jobs, because I want to do everything I attempt to the best of my ability. Finally that hard graft is paying off.
I am gaining amazing experience, am meeting some amazing people, and now I am finally getting somewhere.
Being asked to apply to be a victim charity trustee is a massively proud experience for me. I’ve felt totes emosh since I was asked as I appreciate the potential opportunity and what it involves SO MUCH.
This is exactly what I want to do, and I couldn’t be happier that the signs of promise are glinting in my ‘feeling-much-happier-than-I-was-a-month-ago’ eyes.
I think this week I have taken big strides forward, and to me it marks the final end of the depressive spell I’ve been in for some time. I am not depressed anymore. That episode has thankfully passed, and I’m becoming buoyant and enthused and inspired again.
I’m finding my inner sparkle and I won’t let anyone whatsoever dim my shine.
To everyone who has upset me lately, I forgive you, and I want you to know I’ve forgotten too. No hard feelings or grudges held on this side. It’s been a really tough period, but it is over now, and I’m on the up, travelling along my recovery path in a balanced way. No dizzying highs. No cavernous slumps or lows.
I’m settled, I’m strong, I’m confident I know where I’m headed, and I’m OK :)
I am now excited about the future again and that means a lot to me. I don’t always feel that positive. I have been chronically disillusioned and frustrated lately, but I’m returning to my former non-depressed self again, and it feels absolutely fucking FAB-U-LOUS!
with love from a very happy & shiny summerSHINES blogger who will continue to share my bonkers with the (virtual) world X
Here are some moodles to finish off this post (doodles to match my mood).
Today, I am happy :)