Saturday, December 28, 2013

how to write about the holidays (when they aren't happy)

and people know who you are..

If this was anonymous, it'd be lovely, but it kinda isn't.  I wish that I had some cute pictures to post (oh wait, okay,  I do have one) but the truth is, I don't have one picture with my honey, or with anybody for that matter.

So for you bloggers out there, how do you address the not so sunny things when there's a good chance that people who read your blog know you and your family?  I know you get to pick and choose what you write, but I am really against only publishing the "good" stuff.  I believe it's detrimental and destructive and alienating.  Because that's not life.  Life is so messy sometimes you run out of poop bags and you're mid walk and some lady gives you and your pit bull the dirtiest look.  Sometimes life is so messy you end up getting "growth opportunities" on Christmas day instead of cool presents to post on Facebook. (Okay, I did get an awesome present that was posted on Facebook and you will be seeing it soon.)

So while I'm afraid to go into too many details here, I can publicly write about some things I am very thankful for.  And when you find yourself in darkness, the glimmers of light seem to be so much brighter.  And when you're getting that shot, that damn lollipop deserves some credit.

As long as I have my home with my fiance, as long as we fall asleep next to each other every night, all is calm and all is bright.

As long as I remember to love myself and be brave enough to feel these painful feelings, I am giving myself the most valuable gift of all.

As long as we have our girl Starbelly, there is a reason for the season.

I am so thankful to have an anchor in my fiance.  I'm thankful that we have created our own family unit.  I'm thankful for our traditions -the holiday ones and the everyday ones.  I'm thankful for the cute way my dog tries to sneak on the couch (even though I support the fiance's decision to keep her off it of course).  I'm thankful for my relationship with my Dad.  For growing up on a swing-set singing songs so loudly in the backyard.  I'm thankful for our beautiful tree.

I'm thankful that I can feel the pain because I know it's not bigger than me, and that it only leads me to healing and self-trust.

So Happy (and unhappy, whatever you are feeling is valid!) Saturday, and here's to a brand new episode of 48 Hour Mystery!


  1. I think this is a really hard decision that I am grappling with too. So far I have only stayed on the safe, sunny side of my life. The parts that don't involve my ongoing depression, or conflicts with my family. Although the blogs I most like to read are the ones that are really bravely honest (so I'm not living up to that ideal).

    My friends and family read my blog too, so if I put something up that is about internal struggles, I feel really exposed. I don't really want my MIL to know everything about me - she is already overly invested in our life and I have to constantly maintain the boundaries I worked so so hard to put in place. If she knows my private stuff too, I would feel really vulnerable and give her ammunition.

    Likewise, I don't feel comfortable airing out my issues with family or friends. I have a really difficult father, and my time with him is exhausting. I don't think it is fair to him to put only my side out on the internet for all to see, since he likely has another (maybe) valid perspective.

    I also think it matters as to what you want out of your blog. Are you just looking to keep your family up to date, have a creative space to write, have a fun hobby that may connect you to a community you would otherwise never know? (these are my goals btw) If so, I don't think you need to go into depth as to the dark side of life - at least not if it isn't comfortable for you. I think everyone knows that the online side is the best lit side (same with Facebook).

    If your aim is to get lots and lots of followers and create a brand with sponsorship, then I do think you need more than the superficial look at your life. Blogs are a dime a dozen these days so to be commercially successful you need to offer something no one else is.

    If you need to write as part of a therapeutic exercise but risk alienating your family, then maybe you should start another anonymous one they don't know about (but tell me!).

  2. See, my goal in writing (or anything really) has always been to make people feel not alone, to be a friend, like the feeling when you watch a movie or hear a certain song and you feel validated, like you aren't alone and that someone understands. To bring people together I guess? So, with those goals, I absolutely want to be brutally honest about everything, because that's life and I'd hate someone to feel bad about themselves or that they are less after reading something that I wrote (the way I feel when I open a magazine or see things on FB). And then there's the whole thing of privacy and what's fair to the people I write about...but let's get real- two people read this blog ;) I'm going to try my best to write as honestly but still try to keep it somewhat universal, so that anyone reading can relate? It will be an experiment I guess!

    Oh, and when I read your reply, I was like "I'd love to read about her depression!" but I love psychology and it's one of my main interests/passions. Oh and YES I totally agree about not wanting MIL or anyone like that read. ha.