Mental Health Blogging Benefits
I started ‘WalkWithJess’ on the 18th of August 2017 and I can honestly say its one of the best things I’ve done. My mental health keeps improving. Yes, I have bad days but they’re less common. Do I still get upset and unbelievably down? Of course I do. I’m still only in the very early days of recovery. I couldn’t cope without my anti-depressants and I’m certainly not fit for a full time job yet. I wouldn’t be here without my family and their support but I’m better than I was. A percentage of this is down to blogging.
Becoming Open and Confident
I was ashamed of my depression. I shut myself out and I didn’t tell anyone. Christ, until yesterday my own granddad still thought I was happy and working in my apprenticeship. There are people that still don’t know and there are people who I wouldn’t tell for personal reasons. This week one of my old friends came across my blog. My first thought was panic, she was incredibly close to me but life gets between friendships sometimes. She apologized for not realizing how bad things were (she was one of the only two who didn’t know) and my shield went down. See, blogging has made me more open. I could never be friends with all my old friends and I explained this to her but I wasn’t afraid any more. If someone asks me how things are going I don’t lie anymore. I will say they’re not going well but I’m getting better.
A couple of weeks ago I bumped into my old guitar teacher. He asked me how things were going and I told the truth. No lies, no sugar coating. I told him I wasn’t doing very well and I’d lost my job. Do you want to know what he said to me? He told me his wife had left him after being together for 30 years. We both could have lied and said the classic ‘I’m fine’ but we didn’t. We talked for awhile and I felt so much better for it. It’s so easy to hide everything away, maybe too easy.
If I had been in this situation two months ago I would have clammed up, said the dreaded ‘I’m fine’ and hurried off as quickly as I could. Sharing my experiences, coping methods and low moments through my blog has helped me become a more open individual both online and in real life. I am still fearful of walking down the street sometimes but my confidence is growing and I am changing.
Your Own Little Project
My blog is my baby. I have always had a passion for writing and helping people. Without realizing, my blog has become my little project. I put time and effort into it. I’m becoming more creative and looking at the world outside me in a slightly more creative light. When you have depression you begin to forget your passions, your goals and your joy. I felt like I had lost ever little part of what made me Jess. Since starting WalkWithJess I have a project. Every word I type, ever picture I take feels like a step back towards myself. While I build my blog I am simultaneously building myself back. I am passionate again. I have goals again. Best of all I wake up and feel like Jess.
I’m not saying you have to start a blog now. If you’ve read some of my previous posts you’ll know it took me months to pluck up the courage to write about myself. You don’t ever have to start a blog. Writing about your feelings, turning your experiences into a story, it all helps. One of the hardest things I have ever done was starting WalkWithJess. I had no motivation and I didn’t believe in myself but I did it. It took one ‘fuck it’ moment and now I’m here. Don’t second guess yourself and just go for it. Be anonymous or don’t be. Keep somethings to yourself or have no closed doors. I still have certain things I don’t feel able to share about myself but I am hoping I will do one day.
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Jess – @walkwith_jess
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