The Daily News

LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Future Blogger?

children mentioned...

I thought this post up on Lindsay's blog was really interesting especially in light of a new storyline that has been happening in the doll world at our house. We had a fairly traumatic trip to the pediatrician a few weeks ago that culminated in the ChickieNob screaming and me sitting on the floor sobbing afterwards with her. The pediatrician called two times after the visit to check in on her mental well-being and I told the doctor that the ChickieNob wanted to talk about the visit non-stop. The doctor encouraged me to let her talk about it because it was healthy.

After a few days, that topic of questioning was replaced with new and more interesting sets of questions including, "why do people have to wear clothes?" and "what do bears do all day?"

A few days ago, the ChickieNob started insisting that she needed me to play doctor's office with her. It couldn't be Daddy--it had to be me. The visit began much like our usual doctor's office game which is really just a reenactment of an old Max and Ruby episode. Then suddenly, the ChickieNob strayed from our usual storyline and started talking about her own traumatic visit to the doctor and making me act it out with her--sometimes following the story to its actual end and sometimes veering off into a happier tale.

I am always the doctor and the ChickieNob is the Mommy and Minnie Mouse is the baby. The ChickieNob does a much better at mothering than I did at that doctor's visit, but to be fair, I had to act in the moment with an actual crisis at hand and the ChickieNob has the benefit of three weeks of deep thought on the matter.

I'm not sure if this game is for her to make sense of what happened or to show me what she wished I had done or to make me feel guilty as all get-out. And if there will ever be a release--is this the figurative draft form of a post and she'll soon hit publish and release it away from herself?

I asked a while back if people felt the thought was complete or the peace gained if they didn't hit publish. We also often discuss the unhealthy side to blogging--how another person's situation can escalate our own fears, how we can become more upset than we would have if we were merely living our own life vs. living our life while reading so many others. Yet here is this article that states the enormously positive aspect to blogging--the release of those words, the feedback gained, the cheap therapy.

I definitely use blogging as such--the cheap therapy and the more vocal therapy. So much of therapy is just sitting there and talking it out but blogging is really a conversation with the main idea placed out by the writer and all of the responses provided by the reader. Why do you blog--to record the story, to get the words out of your heart? And do you feel emotionally healthier right now than you did before you started blogging or do you feel that blogging can be detrimental to your emotional health overall?


Fertilized said...

I blog to record the story/experience, to get the words out of your heart/mind? Get feedback and support. I think that since blogging I am so much more emotionally healthier. I am more able to express my feelings with appropriate emotions and actions (for the most part). I also look at blogging as an opportunity to get to know others and have bloggers be my accountablity and support and offer feedback and help keep me on track. It is also very educational for me

Tammy said...

Cheap Therapy... :o)

And the fact that it helps me organize my thoughts and feelings in a way I can't orally. I write much better than I speak.

I also keep my mom and sisters in the loop without need for constant updates while TTC.

And I just need a safe place to vent and a good way to get feedback that is unbiased by someone who knows me IRL.

bleu said...

First off Bliss had a very traumatic experience with a dentist at 13 months. He can still recall it and at times wants to discuss it. I truly believe, and from seeing it orph over the years, that he needed what I need when I blog, to be heard.

He needed me to know it was awful for him and that it hurt and that it was unfair.

Validation of what happened.

He is ok with it now but there are still artifacts form it these many years later although to be fair it is likely from other dentist visits since then too, they work him up because of that first one where he had to have surgery.

I blog to both keep record and for therapy. I think it began mostly for therapy but the record keeping was just such a plus. I could not have gone through this past almost 2 years without blogs.

I have been ttc my second for 3 years and used boards to keep me sane but it was just not enough. It helped a lot, but I needed more one on one therapy if you will. My blog gives me that sense of one on one as opposed to the group therapy feeling of boards. It has made all the difference in the world to me. Especially being an SMC and without family.

This is my touchstone.

kate said...

I think more than anything, blogging works to get me thinking about the details of my life. Why did I do or say a certain thing? Where am I on this path that I want to be on? Am I writing this to be "pretty" or am I writing this to be a more factual, journalistic-style entry? But in addition, blogging has had the side-effect of making me more committed to things that I set down on paper (well, screen, but whatever, right?). I mean, I SAY that I want to live in a certain way, so what have I done today towards that end? And I SAY that I want to go to law school- what have I done TODAY towards that end? It just forces me to be more honest with myself and more committed to this persona that I seem to present to the world via my blog.

Yes, part of it is venting, and yes, part of it is the validation that I get from the "me, too" comments, and yes, part of it is the record of history, but mostly, my blog has become a place where I don't just record life lived, I also LIVE it, create my life as I go along.

G said...

I blog to get the story out of my head and my heart. Like Tammy said, cheap therapy.

Sometimes when a topic has been creeping in and in for a while, the resulting blog takes a different turn than I thought it would. Giving me kind of an "ah ha!" moment.

Poor Chickienob :(

Jen said...

Blogging has made me a much happier person. Not so much the writing down part, but the relationships I have gained with these fabulous women. I blogged for a couple of months before anyone commented. I wouldn't still be blogging if it weren't for all the love and support (not to mention advice) that I get on a daily basis.

Sniff. I love you guys!

Lori said...

YOU get to be the doctor??

Tessa always has to be the doctor/dentist/teacher/store clerk. I am left to be the patient/student/requestor/supplicant.

I think it's a way for them to experience the situation from their perceived position of power.

Maybe both blogging and role-playing are ways to deal with momentary and perceived powerlessness.

Both give some measure of control, the ability to direct and influence the outcome.

littleangelkisses said...

vhHonestly? I blog because then I can pretend that people are listening to me. My husband has to listen to me all the time (poor guy) so I figured I'd use this as an outlet instead of him. I'm not sure if that makes blogging therapy for me or him :)

Amy said...

Blogging is therapy for me. When I started, it was really just for me - to get it all out. Now I'm just starting to feel the community vibe (individual and group therapy?). My husband reads my blog, and I think it helps him because I can't talk about everything out loud without dissolving into a puddly mess of tears.

Tash said...

Like Amy, I started blogging like a journal and never thought anyone would read it minus the few friends I sent the link to. Now I'm so completely grateful for the community, it's definitely group therapy.

Interesting though, I've heard a few people mention, second hand always, that blogging is bad (especially in my corner) -- that it enables, and makes one just wallow in the pool of despair. And I kinda don't get that. I'm plotting a post about it.

sorry about the doc visit. sounds rough, and you sound like mom supreme.

Manda said...

I blog so that I can get the words out of my heart, absolutely. There are still some things that I can't bear to say aloud, but I can write them... I choose to write them in a public forum in the hope that others may relate and either give advice or use my fears/joys in their situation. There are some blogs that I find difficult to read - people who have walked this path and found only failure - but I use THOSE blogs to come to terms with my own demons.

Wishing 4 One said...

My blog started as a journal for my close friends and family when we did our first IVF cycle.

Since then, its taken many turns, gotten out of hand but is truly something I look forward to doing everyday.

And I love these comments/reactions, clicking on peoples profiles, reading their stories...there are so many women like us out there, I had no idea how many.

I also agree with another "reaction" that it is a safe place to vent, and feels good after you hit POST.

But what has amazed me the most is HOW MANY of us have fertility issues and are blogging about it!

You're blog is one of THE best out here, thanks for it!

Jess said...

I think I'm emotionally about the same amount of healthy....Travis just has to hear me whine less. lol!!

And of course, with all the wonderful women (and men) out there that I've met, I can't stop! Opinions, cheap therepy,'s all downhill from that first post! hahaha

chicklet said...

I blog to get the stuff out that I would've in a journal - something I used to do, but found the actual hand-writing too hard eventually. I also do it to get history down, cuz even when I look through my old journal, I recorded the husband's and my converations and interactions, as well as my emotional frame of mind, cuz I liked being able to think back on specific moments, particularly ones where we had fun.

Queenie. . . said...

That's a good question. It's not therapy for me, exactly. . .it's more that this is an aspect of my life that I don't really want to talk about with people IRL, but I still need to talk about. Blogging is a happy medium for me--I can talk about stuff and process it and get feedback, but I still get to be private, too.

Meghan said...

I always wanted to be a better journal-er but never could do it. There's something about the feedback and comments from everyone else that make it so much more rewarding...and theraputic. So yes, I am in a much better place emotionally since I started blogging back in August

Not on Fire said...

I think that both blogging and reading blogs have been very helpful in my "recovery". Reading about others going through what I went through helped me resolve some of the feelings that had been too painful to deal with at the time. Sharing highs and lows was therapeutic for me. Even with 2 kids I am not yet over the experience. Blogging is so useful as a way to share with someone who "gets it" even if they don't always agree.

Kim said...

I blog for all of the above. Sometimes I want to tell a story and have it saved to share with my kids when they are older. Sometimes I just have something to say. Sometimes I am looking for support and feedback. I also blog because I love to write and this gives me a way to do it regularly!

Michell said...

I blog for a lot of reasons. I started out as a way to tell my story (which in my head was my quick and easy path to motherhood)and to make connections with other single moms. Since then I've vented or posted about what is so busy in my head that I can't rest, think or get past it. I've found an amazing source of support that often gets whatever it is that is bugging me. Also information. I've gotten more information in scary difficult situations etc that has made me feel like maybe I have the whys and whats figured out a bit.

Bea said...

Sounds like an interesting little roleplay you've got going there. Hope everything "fixed" soon.


Heidi said...

I started blogging as a journal. I had been an avid scrapbooker, but found I just didn't have the time. The perfectionist in me would take 2-4 hours just to do two pages. So, blogging was simple. Type out some words, attach a picture or two and TaDa!! And, everyone can see it, it's not shoved on a bookshelf somewhere collecting dust.

Then after we lost the baby it really became a means of venting. Getting all of the things out of me that I couldn't, or wouldn't say out loud. I didn't want to talk to anyone, so I could tell them how I was feeling without having to see them or hear them.

Now, it is a way to communicate with friends I have made along this journey. To be cheered on when I need cheering, to get hugs when I am down, from a wonderful community that really tries to make sure that everyone is taken care of. It is also a way for me to take care of someone else. For me to be able to send a virtual hug and let someone know I have been there, and if they need to talk in real life I can do that too.

Sorry, I guess that got a little long winded!!

JamieD said...

I can't even begin to verbalize the improvement in my emotional health since I started blogging. I didn't know anyone who had been through my struggles and it was all so hard to talk about anyway, I felt so isolated and alone. I needed to talk and I also needed answers, suggestions, advice and just support.

I think about my IF issues all the time and my friends IRL can't relate. I remember the first time I went into a long winded story about my cycle to my best friend (mother of three in four years) and she stopped me to ask what "LH" was. I was so angry that I try so hard to get pregnant and here is J with three perfect children who doesn't even know what a lutenizing hormone is or when it peaks?!?! It's just not fair!!

Apparently, I use my blog for a little bit of venting, also . . .

Barb said...

Aww. Poor chickienob and Mel. I'm sorry you guys had to deal with that.
Someday she'll probably laugh if you tell her about Minnie Mouse being her baby though. :)

I blog to record AND to work through things. I used to talk stuff out a lot, but sometimes you don't have much of an audience for that. I also find that writing is more cathartic than talking for me. Plus I have a record of it to go read again and again to help me make sense of it. If I talk it out, I find I have to SAY it again and again and no one wants that. ;)

I also find that I am DEFINITELY emotionally much healthier than before I started blogging. Peoples' input and reading others' thoughts has helped a lot with that too.

Dianne/Flutter said...

I hope ChickieNob is feeling better.

I blog to remove the thoughts and in doing so, I feel better. Granted my poor blog did start by being a chronicle. Now it is truly a dumping ground.

PJ said...

Well at first I felt that I needed to share my own story, as I had begun been reading other IF blogs and was fascinated that there seemed to be a community of support. I mean, my jaw DROPPED when I saw Lost and Found! But it's become a great outlet for me. And just to connect and relate with other people who are going through the same thing... means a lot. It's made this easier. I don't feel so much like I'm floating out there alone. Because IF can be lonely.

I also think, for practical matters, it's nice to have a "map" of the journey. A sort of, "hey, look at where I've been and how far I've come" kind of thing.

So, what DO bears do all day?


Pamela Jeanne said...

To record the story (yes). To get the words out of your heart? (yes). And do you feel emotionally healthier right now than you did before you started blogging (yes).

It's been hugely beneficial to know my experience is not an isolated one. It's one thing to keep a journal to get the thoughts out of my head and heart, quite another to get encouragement and feedback from others trying to make sense of a similar set of experiences.