When I started “mydnyht rantings” during my brief stint in college, blogs had become en vogue in my family and circle of friends. I knew people who had blogs that centered around a theme, such as politics or fitness, but I created mine primarily to keep the people I know updated about my life. Sometimes this was by telling them directly what was going on or by ranting about something that I (momentarily) found important. The year I applied for disability, I decided to take my hobby blogging up a notch by making a commitment to post roughly a Word document page’s worth of content once a week on Thursdays. My favorite topic? My mental health.
I saw a therapist for the first time when I was nine and have been medicated since I was twelve. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and a not-otherwise-specified (NOS) eating disorder when I was fourteen. I am in recovery for my eating disorder and recently the GAD was specified to be post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I try to incorporate all aspects of my life into this blog (by sometimes write about my experiences as a feminist housewife, posting vegan or vegetarian recipes, or talking about my confusion regarding organized religion). Most of the time, I talk about struggling with being disabled and being on disability, bipolar depression, and a repressed memory of childhood sexual trauma. My goal with these posts is to reach out to others who are undergoing similar experiences. When I first applied for disability, I felt utterly alone and ashamed of myself. In fact, that’s been a pretty common theme in my life – the stigma and secrecy surrounding mental health conditions left me feeling like I was the only one who felt like a loser for having a diagnosis. The year I quit my job and applied for disability was the same year the repressed memory started becoming an issue, and that only compounded my feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. I found that when I reached out to others by posting on this blog, people would reach out to me. People would tell me that I was brave, or that they could relate, or that they believed me. I found companionship and camaraderie. I found I wasn’t so alone after all.