I have been blogging for a few years now, yet it’s only been public since I got to college. What I’ve been starting to realize is how cathartic it is. Blogging, whether I admit it or not, is my way of coping with the difficulties that cf throws in my face. Before I found online sites for people with CF, I wrote. I have journals from as far back as probably 3rd grade. Yet, I only wrote when I was upset, confused, or frustrated with life. I wrote poems, I vented, and I tried to figure out how I felt about certain things. I hardly talked to anyone about how I was feeling, though there were people who were willing to listen. Instead, I silently did whatever felt good when I wasn’t feeling good. A lot of times, that meant crying whenever the doctor said I had to go to the hospital, being grumpy when something was on my mind, and having nights where I thought too much about the bad, crying myself to sleep, and waking up feeling refreshed, yet tired, in the morning. Now keep in mind, this was in the emotional pre-pubescent stages in my life, where, even if I didn’t have CF, anything would have seemed like the end of the world.
I then started a blog that was a secret, that no one knew about, where I could be open and honest and let it all out. Before I “went public” with my blog, blogging and writing was a way for me to vent, to let the negativity come out, to be anonymous in my battle and hold it in, only allowing strangers to see the real me. This was probably a way to deny the reality that is CF, to close myself off, to appear bright and cheery to those who love me, and only let the pain out to those who didn’t know me well enough to love me.
Yet, when I “went public” with my blog, I censored the feelings a bit, not wanting to worry anyone, trying to inspire with positivity. But this is by no means a bad thing, in fact, it has allowed me to be up front and real with the true blessings that exist in my life. Instead of hiding behind my private writing, full of negativity and sadness, I am able to take a moment to write about the good stuff, the stuff that you read about in this blog (even if it makes you cry [about 50 people must have admitted that to me this week alone!]) There are no more tears before bed, I feel comfortable talking about CF with just about anyone who asks, and the negativity that CF attempts to instill upon my life is virtually non-existent, with the exception of the few times either myself or someone who knows me reminds me to knock it off. Where I thought I was censoring the bad feelings, I was actually letting the stronger, more positive feelings shine through. My blog has been a way for me to truly look on the bright side.
A quote I’ve probably referenced in this blog before is from one of my favorite movies Garden State. Sam, a girl who has epilepsy, is laughing about the fact that she has to wear a helmet to work to prevent seizures. She says “Oh come on, thats funny. What do you do? You laugh. I’m not saying I don’t cry but in between I laugh and realize how silly it is to take anything too seriously. Plus, I look forward to a good cry, it feels pretty good.” My life really resonates in those words, yeah, I laugh a lot, but that doesn’t mean I don’t cry in between. In fact, just a few weeks ago, when my doctor was questioning whether or not I had an infection and put me on oral antibiotics, I cried driving down the highway on the way home. I let it out, let the frustration out, and when I got home, I was feeling better. I then did what I do best, I looked on the bright side, at least I didn’t have to go in the hospital, at least I would only be feeling yucky from the meds for a couple weeks, and at least we were doing something to prevent something worse from happening down the road.
Sometimes you have to put up with little speed bumps, sometimes you have to let yourself feel the annoyance and frustration of those speed bumps when you just want to go go go, and in the end, you have to let yourself feel what’s right at the time. My blog has been a blessing in the sense that it allows me to write about what I feel in a way thats realistic. The product that you see is what comes out after I let myself feel, after that cry on the way home from the doctor. In no way does that make my writing any less real, positive feelings are no less legitimate than negative ones. They are just the ones I choose to publicize.
My favorite creative writing teacher once taught us about writing poems and he said something along the lines of that no one wants to read a poem where you complain and vent and sob. So he had us write “blobs” to filter all that stuff out… I wrote some of my best poems in that class. I still “blob” in different ways, whether it means crying about it, thinking about it on a run or when I should be doing homework, or talking it out. After that, I write, and hopefully, its something that people want to read.
Thank you to everyone who has been reading my blog lately and having to guts to tell me what they thought about it. The good feelings I get from knowing someone appreciated what they read makes my blogging worth it. Its been a long process to get myself from teary journals to up-beat blogs, but its been one I’ve been grateful for and I’d like to believe that each step has brought me closer to having some sort of small impact on those who take the time to read. 🙂