Here at Netmums we really believe that blogging can be a form of therapy to get you through the tough times and make sense of confusion and heartbreak. And it turns out we’re not alone in thinking this way.
All this week we will be posting touching and inspiring guest posts from our bloggers who have blogged through all sorts of emotional journeys. Today it’s the turn of Looking for Blue Sky.
Looking for Blue Sky
I blame Facebook. When I started blogging – long ago in 2009 – it was all about my life,
current affairs and stuff I found interesting. My kids were only mentioned occasionally, even though my world revolves around them.
Problems were aired and solved on Facebook or parenting sites. Until the day that Facebook would not let me post…
I was upset and desperately needed to vent somewhere. I needed to let my friends know what had happened at an unexpected school meeting that eventually changed everything for my son.
So I did. On the blog. And after that, I couldn’t stop.
There’s a lot to vent about, as I have a teenager, a daughter with severe Cerebral Palsy and a son with Asperger’s Syndrome. My Facebook friends commented in support on that first post, and then I gradually discovered a whole world of special needs bloggers, mums and dads sharing good news, good advice and pouring out their hearts on the days when special needs becomes overwhelming.
Soon I realised how therapeutic it is to blog about the challenges and the bad days. Writing has always been my favourite way to communicate, and the exercise of finding the right words to exactly describe a feeling or an event helps me to calm down. It stops all the crazy thoughts running round my head without any resolution. It puts even the worst days into perspective and helps to clarify what went wrong and why. And when I read it back I can see how far and fast things have changed, especially for my son. I now have a valuable record of everything that has happened.
In previous years I spent a small fortune on counselling, most of which did not seem to help at all! Counsellors always stress how important and therapeutic it is to be heard. Well sometimes I want more than that… And when you write a blog about a really difficult day with special needs, you get validation. You get lots of comments and you watch it being shared across the web and you know that lots of other mum and dads relate to what you’ve written. It’s much much more rewarding than just writing a diary, as I used to do when I was young.
As well as support, bloggers have words of wisdom and comfort and often really useful advice. Other readers have done even more. It was the intervention of a Facebook friend and her words of warning that persuaded me to get my head out of the sand – somewhere I like to spend time – and be realistic about the situation with my son. Without my blog he could still be struggling and unhappy in mainstream school.
Blogging has also helped me to let go of traumatic events from the past, such as the premature birth of my second child. For years I would start to shake if anyone asked me about her early months, but getting the first part of her story down in words has changed all that. I think I’ve achieved that magical state: closure.
And life continues to throw out challenges. Right now it’s my dads journey with cancer, he was diagnosed in January and I never meant to write about it, I felt it was his story. Then a few weeks ago I was in Wales taking care of him, and words started to pour out of me, so I wrote them down. It started to read like a blog post, so I asked him if I could publish it and he agreed – he knows about my blog, but I don’t think he has ever read it. Once again my blog is helping me to cope with a really difficult situation.
There could be more tough times ahead, but right now I feel confident that blog-therapy will see me through..