My name is Lisa. Even telling you that much makes me uncomfortable, but I figure we should at least be on a first-name basis. I wanted to be completely anonymous because I wanted to use this blog to just write, to just be real and raw and open and unafraid. And my biggest fear was that someone I love (read “my mother”) would find this blog and be hurt by what she read here. And her pain would get to me the same way it has my whole life. It would manifest by shutting down whatever I’m doing that might possibly be construed as possibly in some vague way hurtful to her. This is what I’ve always done. And I have to tell you. It’s not working for me anymore.
This blog is not going to be about my mother. It is going to be about me. About me “figuring things out a little bit at a time.” But much of that will involve things I learned – both rightly and wrongly – from my mother. The voice in my head is often my mother’s voice. But it is nothing to what I can do to myself, in my own voice. I take the meanest thing she ever said to me and multiply by 100 and that’s what I do to myself. She was mean. I’m cruel.
Well, back to why I decided to tell you my name. I decided to start this blog – anonymously – after some members of my writers group told me that my writing might resonate with people if I ever had the courage to share it. Then I found other blogs with writers that were struggling with some of the same issues that I seem to struggle with everyday. And I realized that even if my mother does disown me, I wouldn’t be alone in the world. I would have friends that perhaps understand me better than she ever has. Then, today, when I decided to actually “go live,” I read a quote by Brené Brown: “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
Well, here I am. I’m showing up. And I’m allowing you to see me. At least a little.
This blog is about me and my struggles with depression, with self-analysis, self-hatred, shame, all the biggies that I’m discovering are part of the psychological makeup of so many people in this country – and likely others. I’m going to get raw, I’m going to cut close to the bone. I’m going to self-excoriate from time to time and I’m sure I’ll be prone to self-pity at other times. I’m going to use this blog as a way to get to know myself, to embrace my humanity, to forgive my own imperfections and to forgive the people and events in my life that I cannot change. By bringing them into the light. By no longer hiding them behind a veil of “appropriate” or “worthy.”
I will do this through essays, vignettes, letters, and probably the occasional poem. None of them will be perfect. But I will forgive myself for their imperfection and will embrace the next one.
Why a blog instead of traditional therapy, you ask? Well, my mental health needs to be, for once, my primary concern. And who can afford traditional therapy? Certainly not I. So, blogging it is.
Why a blog instead of a private journal, you ask? Why air your dirty laundry in public?
Well, one reason is accountability. I am more likely to write something real at least once a week if I’ve promised in a public way that I would. Another reason is, as I mentioned above, that I’ve been told by people I trust that my writing could resonate with people out there. So that’s the reason. The real reason. If blogging about my pain and my recovery and my mental health and my boring exterior but complex interior life can help even one person, if blogging about my “stuff” can help even one person get a handle on the stuff in their own life, then the whole thing will be worth it.
Do I have dreams of changing the world with my words on a page? Yes. Yes I do. But I’ll settle for bringing a little bit of light into even one dark place. And if I’m the only one that ever reads it, then at least I have at last given myself permission to take up a little space in the world.
I invite you to join me on this journey. I promise I’ll be nice.