It’s been a few days now since I confessed something to the whole world that I’d kept hidden from everyone for my whole life. The experience is a new one for me, so I wanted to pause and reflect before pressing on with my story.
My first thoughts were all tinged with a little surprise at myself. It’s not the sort of thing I expected myself to post. When I decided to start this blog, it was because I recognized the patterns my mind had been experiencing. Long, sustained periods of little to no energy/joy punctuated by moments of panic is a personal warning sign. My mind has never yet been as bad as it was during the worst of my college years, but I knew I was in a place from which a downward spiral was very possible. I also knew that the best recourse possible to me at the time was to give it something to stay busy. Hence the blog.
It was also weighing on my conscience that my perspectives had been changing rather significantly, and that I hadn’t really just plainly announced any changes. I don’t like feeling disingenuous or that I’m hiding something. So I decided to start the blog and briefly but clearly inform everyone that, yes, I have changed, so they didn’t have to wonder about it. But after that first post, I was planning on jumping right in to creative writing, social commentary, political opinions, whatever it was that my mind had been busy with. It was probably a bit naïve to think I could drop that first post without sticking around to do some further clarifying, but I guess I wasn’t thinking that far ahead.
All that to say, when I sat down to write my second post, I didn’t originally intend for it to take the course it did. But I immediately found myself writing about hell, I let my thoughts take me where they would, and when I finished I posted it. I think it was something that I needed. Writing is therapeutic for me. When I give my brain a chance to think through my fingers, at the keyboard, it tends to access places I don’t usually go with my naked thoughts. And that can be a purgative experience. You can’t really get rid of unhealthy ways of thinking when they’re still too nebulous to hold in your hands. But when you force them out into the light to process and deal with them, you have more of a chance of kicking the bad parts to the curb.
The second thing that surprised me about the post is the nature of the reactions. There have been many, a few not very nice but many overwhelmingly positive. It’s been a truly healing experience for me to share the dark, uncomfortable places of my psyche, that I’ve always assumed would drive everyone away if they knew about them, and to find much more love and support than judgment or hate.
I’ve also discovered that both the “good” and the “bad” reactions are good for me. Those in support have given me very deep comfort and relief. Those against have given me the opportunity to clarify and explain myself further. They’ve helped prevent my needlessly offending someone because I stated something in an unintentionally misleading way. And they’ve also helped to further shape my opinions on some things.
So I guess I’ll keep pursuing this more personal side of the blog for a while. It’s already been helpful for me to realize that, although I’ve always been strong enough to survive on my own, maybe I don’t have to. Maybe there really are others out there who have shared my experiences or who can accept me without judging. And maybe there are still others out there who feel like they are alone because of the experiences they’ve been through. Maybe I could help someone else see that others can accept them, too, no matter what they’ve been through. Because I don’t think any human should ever have to feel so utterly alone.