The wonderful people at SANE contacted me earlier this week, to ask if I would write a post about the importance of sharing experiences, thoughts and feelings through a blog. Why? Because they want to spread the word about the latest part of their current Black Dog mental health initiative: Virtual Dog.
Clearly I said yes to writing the post, as here it sits – and here you are reading it. Good stuff all round, go us! Before I launch into my musings on the subject of blogging, here is a bit about Virtual Dog:
Virtual Dog is part of SANE’s online community and is a poignant symbol for anyone who has ever turned online in times of distress. It recognises that special feeling of finding support for mental health issues through social media and the joy of being able to express yourself online, be it through blogging, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Forums or any other type of online expression.
SANE are hoping to fundraise enough money to create a Virtual Dog statue, which they want to send on a tour of schools and universities across the UK – a special gift from SANE’s online community. The Virtual Dog statue will help to educate the next generation about mental health, and reduce the stigma surrounding it.
Sharing is Caring
That’s the bit about SANE, from here on in it’s all about me… blogging and me; I had a couple of attempts at starting a blog before I properly got going towards the end of last year. But it wasn’t until I was properly up and running with mother.wife.me that I really understood the benefits for me of being part of the blogging community.
I must confess I started my blog with business in mind. I wasn’t aiming to turn it into a big cash earner – good job too, ahem! But I thought of it as a way of honing my writing skills, whilst I tried to build up a new career that gave me the flexibility to be around for my daughter.
What I discovered once I had properly nestled into the blogging community is a colourful network of people from all walks of life, sharing thoughts, starting discussions and getting involved in conversations. And most of all, a community that in general supports and offers a shoulder when someone needs it.
In the time I’ve been blogging I haven’t really had any big crises I’ve needed support with. But I have been parenting a Tinkerous Toddler and the value of having a network of parenting bloggers can’t be underestimated. It is so good to be able to share experiences, get different perspectives and chat things over.
Of course I am also able to do this with my very lovely network of friends and family in the physical world. But there is an immediacy that blogging and Twitter allows and also a breadth of perspective, that can’t be matched. Something I love about blogging is that you are often communicating with people that don’t necessarily have a vested interest in you, so sometimes it is easier to take in what they are saying.
And blogging doesn’t just have to be about the big stuff. It can also be about the small stuff. The stuff that can otherwise eat away at you and bring you down. Blogging offers a way to get stuff out there, get it off your chest and move on from it.
To be able to share a worry, or banter through an issue, is really valuable. The saying goes that ‘sharing is caring’ and it is. But much as sharing is a way of caring for others, sharing on a blog is a great way of caring for yourself – and in turn, sharing your concerns and worries within a community helps others with similar issues. Everyone’s a winner!
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