How I Found Our Voices
So, February 2, 2008 I pushed the button. That big old publish button. And…
Well, not nothing. My family read it, old coworkers, friends, a guy I was dating. But that was about it. My first few posts bounced around.
I’m not sure when it first happened, but it came. A message from someone who said I had helped. Then another. And after a while, another. When I decided to be open about my sobriety in a very public fashion, my inbox was flooded. The comments section burst not just with congratulations, but with thank yous. Privately, I replied to emails from people who wondered if they had a problem, where they might find some help, for a variety of addictions and problems, not just alcoholism.
It’s not easy to put yourself out there; it’s not easy for me to put myself out there. While I’ve received a lot of support and praise for my candor and honesty, I’ve also been attacked at my most vulnerable point. And to be honest, there are times when it makes me not want to blog anymore. It hurts, and I’ve watched my fellow bloggers go through it, too, in the comments sections of posts they were probably already nervous to publish.
Because each time we publish, we offer a piece of ourselves to the community. Sometimes the community accepts it, maybe they even love it, but sometimes it loves to hate us. Maybe the comments affect us so much because we know the power of words. Every time we post a new entry, we’re calling on the power of those words to do something, whether it’s to address a growing problem, sway people to our political beliefs, or to simply get something off our chest.
For me, the power of my words is used to share what little I’ve learned, and more often than not, to show what I haven’t. That’s the amazing thing about blogging, this global broadcast of words – it reminds me each and every day that I’m not alone, that my situation isn’t unique. And as long as my readers keep telling me that my honesty about where I am in my life helps them, just to know that someone else is going through it too, then I’m going to keep blogging.
Oh, and passive income? Yeah, right. To both income and passive. Blogging hasn’t earned me any money, it hasn’t gotten me a job, and it definitely hasn’t landed me a relationship, and there are days where I feel a little beaten down. But I love it. And some days, it loves me back. And that was unexpected.
Photo credit: Ashe-Villain via Flickr.