When I stood at my friend’s balcony on the 24th floor, tipping my toes up and leaning over to see the garden he was pointing out, I heard the siren of thought in my head: “lean further over, fall off and you can die and be done with it all.” Someone remarked at the neon lights in the garden and I was jolted out of my reverie. I backed into the living room with numb toes, poured myself some lukewarm water, and dived back into the chatter around me….
The question I have, is, whether I dare publish online some of the bleak and gloomy notions I have. How honest can I be with my vulnerability?
More traffic is coming to my blog from all around the world, and I get readers’ emails supporting my writing, encouraging me in my quest for self-awareness. Most of them find solace and refuge in my experience as they are lonely in their struggles with depression and are yearning for empathy, which my blog can hopefully provide.
However, with the readership increasing, I feel a sense of moral obligation to be a positive source of strength for my supporters. I might be imposing the responsibility on myself, but I presume that people who come to read my blog want to feel “better” after leaving the website. They would prefer uplifting stories, anecdotes on how I overcome recurring depressive episodes, treatment methods, how my husband deals with me, and advice on helping themselves or those around them who suffer.
Therefore, if I describe my indifference towards life (despite my love for writing), the people with who, I have lost touch as a result of the illness (despite some good friends’ continual concern), the urge to stop living (despite seeing hope and light for the future), and the persistent low mood swings (despite finding ways to cope, at least some of the time), it might leave my readers in worse spirits than before they stumbled on to my meager muses.
More importantly, I am concerned that my expressions would send some people over the edge; especially those who suffer from severe clinical depression and already have suicidal thoughts. This is definitely not what I want.
Some days, I am so consumed with indifference and lassitude, philosophizing with the meaning of life and the lack of, that I wonder about the purpose of continuing to breathe. Of course, I can tell myself I should be grateful and others have it worse; yet I am certain many out there would also agree with my defined-by-society-as-negative thoughts. Thus, combine a few downbeat forces together, and we become self-destructive on impulse.
Therefore, I came to the conclusion that I had best suppress those contemplations for my private journal instead of publishing it online, for I am realigning my thoughts through writing and to make sense of my own emotions and behavior, and not seeking attention for help. I am fortunate to have a loving husband and a relentless psychologist who would not give up on me, however many times I return with seemingly similar issues.
I appreciate an intellectual discussion yet do not want to risk being the impetus for someone else to jump off the balcony. So best to shut up.
Still, I sometimes ponder, if I say I have to be true to myself, my thoughts, and be confident with what I am doing and who I am, then why should I hide such thoughts away?
The blog’s very purpose is for me to stop creating an image and reputation I assume others would prefer and like, but for me to show the less desirable bits of me – and be comfortable with the criticisms. Thus, if I conceal those neural associations in my brain that would be classified as “negative thoughts”, then in effect I am not being me, and defeating the very reason I created the blog.
I am interested to know what you, my readers, think about my dilemma?
Forget the suppositions of how I should look at the bright side of things blah blah blah….
The question is, whether I should show you all the vulnerabilities? Where do the boundaries lie from your perspective?
Leave me your thoughts in the comments. It would help us all.