It’s Been A While…

It’s been a while since I lasted posted.  Much longer than I had intended, but as you know, that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.  There has been a hard time of depression, which unfortunately still continues.  It’s difficult then to motivate myself into anything, and time has just passed without me being really aware of it.  It seems that when depression isn’t winning the war, then fibromyalgia is.  I seem to swing from one to the other, without as much as a break.

There have been two dilemmas pressing down on my desire to blog right at the moment.  The first is a simple case of needing to protect the privacy of those around me.  Mostly it is simple to disguise identity, but sometimes it is not so easy, especially when I write under my own name and people in my ‘real‘ life read my blog.  The result is that some issues just don’t get written about.  The people around me do not get a choice in whether I blog, so I must appreciate that, and leave them out of the equation as much as possible.  Sometimes it means no posts, and I avoid those topics completely.  It’s far easier than causing offence unnecessarily.  But often anonymity has its attractions.

The second dilemma has been a more difficult and painful one.  From the experience of being lied to, abused and manipulated, I find myself reluctant to ‘put myself out there‘.  While in the past I was willing to write pretty freely of my experiences and feelings, once I got slapped in the face (hard!) I am not quite so willing to be open.  Because the pain came initially through my blog, I think it’s natural that I need time to reassess.

What is it that I am willing to ‘put out there’?  What is it that I am able to share openly, while protecting my own need for safety?  How can I achieve my goal of wanting to write about mental illness recovery, without putting myself at risk of abuse?  These are the questions that I need to answer for myself, and if you have thoughts I’d love to hear them.  They’re difficult questions, especially once someone has broken the trust, and I might take a while yet to work out exactly what I want now.

Ultimately there is always risk when writing openly.  I know that, it’s just that I need to decide for myself how much risk I take.

So meantime…

Do I start posting recipes?

I don’t think so somehow.  While that might have been me 20 years ago (in my days as a foodie… I could afford to be one then), it’s not me now and I think I would die of shock if I found myself posting recipes.  All power to those who do, it’s just not me.

So…

How about I post pictures of my pets?  That usually goes down well, and personally I love seeing photos of pets.  So try this…

Meet my dog, Dixon.

Dixon

Dixon is 34 years old, and has yet to need to be taken for a walk, yet to need to be taken outside to ‘do his business‘.  He hasn’t even needed a trip to the vet.  Oh, except I think an eyebrow needing re-gluing but actually the vet wasn’t required for such a procedure.

While he gives excellent cuddles with a bit of encouragement, he will never wake me up with sloppy, wet kisses to my face.  While there are a few drawbacks to this kind of dog, you have to admit that 34 years for a dog is ‘going the distance‘.

My best friend at high school gave me Dixon, and he is named after her.  She had a similar dog (different colouring).  My friend died tragically in a car accident about 15 years ago, so still having Dixon now is very special to me.

Actually I’d love to have what you might call a ‘real dog’ but Council By-Laws in my city rule that out as an option right now, as it is a requirement to have your property completely fenced if you have a (real) dog.  That’s not something I can do, because of shared property ownership, but no one can object to Dixon.  My neighbours don’t even know he’s here. 😉

Stay tuned for more pictures of pets, meanwhile I’ll get back to trying to work out just what is right for me in terms of blogging.

One final point.  I love you, my blogging friends.  Please don’t think I don’t.  It’s simply when one person spoils something, it takes work to find the will to trust again.  But I will find it, eventually.  And if you haven’t seen me on Facebook lately, I’ve been taking a break from there too.

“Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired. 
Smile, even when you’re trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision. 
Sing, even when people stare at you and tell you your voice is crappy. 
Trust, even when your heart begs you not to. 
Twirl, even when your mind makes no sense of what you see. 
Frolic, even when you are made fun of.
Kiss, even when others are watching.
Sleep, even when you’re afraid of what the dreams might bring. 

Run, even when it feels like you can’t run any more.
And, always, remember, even when the memories pinch your heart. Because the pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience—you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your terrible life and hold your head up high the next day. So don’t live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after all the crap has happened, than you ever were back before it started.” 

― Alysha Speer

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12 thoughts on “It’s Been A While…

  1. Well Cate, I’m in no position to offer advice to anyone, about anything, at the moment. And having posted here for the 2nd time in five months today, I think don’t worry about frequency.

    So I will simply say trust your instinct and especially your heart. For the most part they’re good guides.

    I haven’t read a blog in like forever either, and I’m getting back to it starting with yours. However infrequent or abuse-bringing your posts are, I am always happy I came here.

  2. John Richardson

    Do whatever is comfortable for you Cate! Cookie crumbs are great! I enjoy what you write whenever you decide to write it! God Bless!

  3. Hi Cate:
    I can appreciate how you feel. I made the decision a few months ago to ditch my old blog (www.justanothercanadiangurl.wordpress.com) and start a new one, simply because I know longer wanted my family to see what I was writing. I found that I was writing what I thought they would want to read and that was not the purpose of me starting the blog in the first place.
    But please do keep writing even if it is about your cute pets!

  4. Pingback: Wake Me Up: I’m terrible at life | In the Loft

  5. I find when I start censoring words, I get stuck on what to write about. I would never tell anyone about my blog. I need somewhere that I can write freely. I also would prefer to protect the abusers, so anonymity is of top priority. Sometimes it feels odd to keep such a huge part of my life (blogging) a secret. It has come to mean so much and having it, as my own private space is what adds to the value. I would say it might be unwise to share anything you might regret in the future if people close to you read it. Have you ever thought of starting a new “journal blog”? You could start the audience by privately inviting some of your current members on this blog, or completely start from scratch.

    I love my pets and would be lost without them. I still have Missy (Oscar’s sister) and Jack. I think Oscar’s death would have hit me harder if I didn’t have them to come home to. I know you lost your beloved Penny….would you consider another cat?

    1. Hi Cat, Firstly yes I would definitely consider another cat. Actually this is a priority for me but my housing (post earthquakes) means I am better to put off getting a pet until my house has been repaired. I will have to move out of it for several months while it is repaired and if I have a pet at that time, it will be more difficult to find temporary accommodation. Unfortunately I have no idea when this will be. Hopefully next year sometime, but then I said that this year…

      As for my blog, you make some valid points and I can totally understand why you have done yours the way you have. I choose to blog openly when I started because I wanted to be completely open about mental illness. Another blog, as you suggest, might be a good way to go. I need to do some more thinking.

  6. Jennifer Butler Basile

    I am so glad that despite it/him/her/them, you have not lost your sense of humor. ie discussing Dixon’s toileting habits! I would be truly worried if you’d lost that. Just promise me if you decide to ditch this blog for a fresh, anonymous start, you let me in on the secret so I can follow you!

    1. LOL. I’m glad someone appreciates my humour, even stuffed toy toileting habits. It’s such things that keep me going in this world. And I promise I’ll let you know if I go for a fresh start. Thanks Jennifer. 🙂

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