Through our “self indulgence” and “shameless” willingness to publicly talk about personal struggles and issues most people wouldn’t even tell their second best friend, we forge communities where we can offer strength and comfort to others–and receive it in return.
Do you, like me, administer a “crazy” blog?
I was thinking about how in the past few years, “crazy” blogs like mine (highly confessional blogs that document an individual’s mental illness and their journey to wellness, or an abuse victim’s struggles to find peace of mind and emotional freedom) have proliferated like mushrooms after a rain storm.
Is this a blessing or is it the Internet version of the worst kind of TV reality shows?
Those who don’t understand, many of them older people who aren’t used to such public candor on or off the web, like to pass judgment and accuse us “crazy” bloggers pf being self-indulgent, narcissistic, exhibitionistic, shameless, or just plain, well, batshit crazy. They can’t understand why people with such delicate and personal…issues…would want to blab about them all over the web to strangers all over the world. They think that by us doing so, we just prove we’re as insane as whatever mental illness we are struggling with. They think that abuse stories belong behind closed doors and the only public place where they should be discussed is in the courts.
Highly subjective, confessional stories of mental illness and abuse didn’t start on the web, though the web makes it possible for the average non-celebrity type of person to make their story known through blogging and forum posts, and in the process, enlighten, warn, or provide hope and support to others in the same boat. Through our “self indulgence” and “shameless” willingness to publicly talk about personal struggles and issues most people wouldn’t even tell their second best friend, we forge communities where we can offer strength and comfort to others–and receive it in return. Back in the days before the Internet was available, we so often had to struggle alone without any support–or never be able to use what we learned to lift up someone else.
I think “crazy” blogs in particular help reduce stigma against mental illness by describing what it’s like to actually live with one, rather than just listing a bunch of criteria in a psychiatric textbook, which tends to increase stigma. Instead of being reduced to “Exhibit A-104.3G, our stories and struggles show our humanity.
Further reading: Why Crazy People Make Better Bloggers.