You’d Never Know It From the Blog

Be real. Dig.

It’s been an extremely intense few days.

Sozzoms!

Just FYI, when I’m absent from cyberspace for more than a few days it’s usually either cos:

1) I’m away.
2) I’m experiencing technical problems.
3) I’m feeling extra depressed.

Or combinations of the above.

Notably on the third point, just seeing as I’m in a rather sharing mood these days in blog-land (lucky, lucky YOU! Here, let me hand you a shot-glass through the screen and let us share a tequila, you and I…), know that I don’t tend to ruminate that much about the crap parts of my life here, for the same reason as I don’t tend to show my down-side to the friends I have in real life.

Let me clarify.

Won’t you? you say.

I shall.

There are friends I can – and do – fall apart in front of. That’s not a problem. It’s just that when in the company of my beloved ones, I usually have a happy face. Not because it’s not real, but because having them there makes me happy. I get energised by company. I need people. Did you hear me? I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED ’em.

And so it is on my blog.

For the most part, I consider this blog as the lounge-room  in my cyber-home. That is, a place where you guys can come over, hang out, listen to my ramblings, try to get a word in if you can and ignore the smell.

And as I do with my real-life posse, unless I particularly feel the need to purge myself, I usually instead just enjoy the company and focus on the good stuff.

Which, you know, is how I like it. Fool.

(Note: you’re not really a fool. I’ve just always wanted to write that in a sentence.)

Anyhoo, the point to all this rambling is that I need a new prescription a recent conversation with my sister-in-law got me thinking.

She was saying how reading some of her friend’s blogs (particularly on the parenting front) could make her feel a bit inadequate, given that the stuff they wrote about made life sound so fabulous, the kids look so good and the journey of parenthood seem so trouble-free and tasty.

It was only when she chatted to these friends in real life that she realised that this was not at all the case. Behind the happy blog posts were struggling marriages, parenting disasters and, well, you know, turds in the metaphorical carpet. (That last bit is gonna be the name of my album, if I ever have one. Just so you know).

Point is, as my sister-in-law said:  “you’d never know it from the blog!”

Which of course, brings me back to my favourite subject of all: ME.

It got me thinking. Does my blog portray a facade of a perfect life? Man I hope not. As I said, I don’t tend to dwell on the negative too often here, but it’s certainly not because it’s not there. Cases in point (and points in case):

– I have been diagnosed with major clinical depression.

– It breaks my heart that my kids won’t ever meet my Mum, their grandma. Especially when I see grandparents who can’t get enough of their grandkids.

– I have never made popcorn without burning it. And yes, even if I do it in a microwave.

WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

So anyway, a big factor in this incredibly self-indulgent equation is the struggle between wanting to be real, and not wanting to sell out my privacy.

I want to share the warts and all – I just hold back sometimes as I’m worried that either you guys aren’t really into warts (oh man, I’m just imagining somebody finding this blog one day by googling “really into warts” – uh, hi. And I think you should move on, buddy) and/or, more importantly, that the day will come that I’ll regret over-sharing.

Hmmm. Dilemmas of the cyber-age. (Second album title, just FYI).

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Oh, and here. Have a cheezel.

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jennywynter Written by:

13 Comments

  1. September 28, 2010
    Reply

    Aw, sweetie. Once again you are not alone. Both my parents have been on anti-depressants at various stages, and I routinely have battles with maintaining my grasp on “normalcy”. Luckily, I can usually hear that train barreling down the tracks ahead of time and have found tricks that help me get out of its way…at least enough so that I can tough it out until the fog lifts. Good on you for getting help.

    As for the “perfect blog life”. I think it’s a trap we all fall in to. Personally, I feel like there’s already enough crap in the world that I don’t need to be adding my own…but I can see how that would give a completely biased perspective. Letting others know that you are only human isn’t a bad thing I suppose. 😉

    Thank you for being such a brave and inspiring lady. And next time we meet, I shall teach you my grandfather’s secret for making the best popcorn in the world. Much love, xo K

    • September 29, 2010
      Reply

      Awww, thanks my love!

      So true, I too feel like there’s enough rubbish in this mad, mad world, so why dwell on it? And/or add more to the pile? But you’re right, it’s not a bad thing to let people know you’re human. In fact, I think it’s probably a very good thing!

      I’m remembering in high school, when we left somebody got up in front of the whole grade and – in the tradition of the graduating students – read a joke list of everybody’s future occupations. i.e. they were totally the opposite of what you’d expect of that person (the vegetarian in the grade would be a whaler, etc…)

      When it got to me they said “Manic Depressive”. At that moment I felt like nobody really knew me. Not that it was their fault, it was just I did present a happy face so often that I never really let anybody in.

      Ah damn, too much thinking for this time of day! Lots of love. And thanks for the popcorn tips – I do fear I’m beyond all help though! 🙂

  2. September 28, 2010
    Reply

    Ah, CM. How much truth there is in what you say!

    Sometimes I wish I could do the blogging equivalent of scream, and let out all the “crap” of my life that I’m unhappy with.

    It’s a hard balance to achieve. You want to be honest, but at the same time, some people do get turned off by people complaining. For example, I enjoy reading Dooce, but have felt a bit annoyed that the most stressful thing in her life is her current office makeover. I’m all like “Wow, how hard you’ve got it, woman who makes a living from blogging.”

    But of course, that’s unfair, as that’s the hardest thing in her life THAT SHE’S BLOGGING ABOUT. Who knows what else there could be.

    For myself, 2010 has been a really tough year. In recent times, spectacularly difficult and upsetting. And sometimes I just want to write about it all. But people I love read my blog, and may not have the context to put my rants in. I don’t want to upset people too much, and of course, what I write one day might reflect my mood that day, but not in general.

    I’m bad too because social media, while great, has big downsides for me because I feel like people ignore me on it. It’s paranoid, but there you go. When there are people I know in real life who never “like” or “comment” on anything I post on FB, I wonder “Do they hate me?”

    Many of these same people do what I believe is called “Vague-booking” or “vague-tweeting” – where you make elusive comments about a person or an event. It’s like cowardly sniping. Chances are most of these vague-updates are NOT about me, but it does make you wonder, and if you are like me and lean towards paranoia, it can be distressing.

    Recently I’ve made the decision to try not to be too whingy or whiny in my tweets and status updates. It means people get the negative side of me more than the positive, and it means I tend to wallow in negativity more, rather than trying to focus more on the good things. I’m also dedicated to NOT vague-booking, as I dislike it so much when I read it.

    Anyway this is rather rambling because I’ve had three hours’ sleep. I guess my point is that it’s a fine line, a hard balance. But it is good sometimes to be honest, because it helps others out there know they’re not alone. As someone who’s struggled for years with self-esteem issues that have manifested themselves in a massively negative way, it’s strangely reassuring that perhaps you’ve experienced similar things yourself. I don’t mean that to sound nasty! 🙂

    • September 29, 2010
      Reply

      Not nasty at all, Nat! 🙂

      I’m glad, it reassures me that you’re reassured! Hehe. I hear you and second you and third you on all fronts. I get those feelings too, mainly on twitter – I think it’s why I’ve fallen away from it a bit lately, I just feel like I’m there just throwing shit out into the twitterverse only to have it float down onto my own head. It just makes me feel a bit irrelevant I think!

      Oh man, and I HATE the whole vague-booking/tweeting thing (great wording, btw). It’s just passive aggressive. Which I hate in real life too. I just think if somebody doesn’t have the balls to actually say it to your face then what the heck is the point in saying it at all? What? HOPING that the person gets the message? But then not actually wanting them to because that would mean confrontation? So silly.

      I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve had such a tough time this year – I have to say that hearing you allude to that makes me so curious about the specifics. Which comes back to the fact that we, as people, have such a need to connect, and usually sharing the bad stuff is actually a big part of that.

      Hope the rest of the year – including your b’day!! – are much, much improved.

  3. September 28, 2010
    Reply

    Well I know where you’re coming from – the old ‘to share or not to share’. You start the blog talking to yourself then suddenly you’ve got ‘readers’ and have to think about their reading preference. I tend to steer away from too much heart wrenching, but by the same token, being YOU is what draws people to your blog in the first place. I don’t mind reading such stuff on other people’s blogs (yours case in point), so I guess it won’t hurt on mine.

    Your blog is usually so upbeat, it’s only natural to strike a balance. We’re all real people. I doubt anyone is happy all of the time, I know I can’t (yeah, I’m on the anti-depressants too…).

    Just keep being YOU my friend.

    • September 29, 2010
      Reply

      Your last sentence really felt like a hug. Thank you!

      It’s so funny, I was just talking to my sister today about how hard it was to even just admit defeat and go and get help. (Gees, even the fact I would write that as “defeat” is very telling). Yet, when I’m upfront about it, I’ve found so many people, rather than being judgemental or weird about it, have instead just told me about their own issues with it. Or those of someone close to them. And it’s just SO DAMN COMFORTING!!

      🙂

  4. Berny
    September 28, 2010
    Reply

    I do it too – on facebook I never post the pics that show my gut hanging over my pants, my hair unwashed, or the real turd on the carpet!

    Cyber world is kind of like an awkward first date – trying to portray the very best of ourselves, but it is a shallow and one-dimentional view. I think there is a place in your life to share the darkest parts of your soul. Maybe the blog is not it. But some of the greyer areas need to be aired and need to be shared. Because a problem shared is a problem halved. Well maybe not… but if we were all a lot more honest about the crap parts of life instead of aiming in vain for a “happily ever after” we all might reach a point of contentment much earlier.

    Love ya!

    • September 29, 2010
      Reply

      Heehee, I’m so imagining a comedy song like “Cows with Guns” but instead it’s “Turds on Rugs”.

      Hmm, you might be right there. I think if I spilled all the darkest parts I’d frighten everybody away – I do like things to be at least a little sparkly and shiny here. But grey stuff – yes.

      More grey matter!

      Love you right back baby. xx

  5. Sally
    September 28, 2010
    Reply

    *Hugs*. By the way, just wanted to let you know you inspired me to sign up for the Triathlon Pink. Thanks, I really needed and appreciated the motivation!

    • September 29, 2010
      Reply

      Oh wow, Sal, that’s great!! I’m sorry to say that we’re a bit behind on the training front. The other day Ella said to me “Can I just pretend I’m sick?”

      Might be an interesting race!! x

  6. September 29, 2010
    Reply

    I’m right there with you Jenny! Until as recently as May I have been struggling to get my depression under control. Finally have the right cocktail (tequilla only enters it occationally) But it still sucks sometimes, going through a divorce wondering where the heck I’m going to live, how I’m going to support myself in such an economy after being a stay at home mom for the last 5 years, honey there ain’t no pill big enough! and yes that was to the tune of ain’t no mountain….

    Really though sometimes you wish they could make something that makes EVERYTHING okay, but I think that’s anesthesia so not really practical. I still struggle still have days where bed looks better than the blue sky. Nobody tells you that while motherhood is great, nothing beats a hug and an I love you mommy, but there are days when you wonder What the HELL was I thinking? Or you look at your husband and go Really? It’s all growth not all of it sucks, feels crappy at times and like you’ll never get through, but you do, hopefully. And just knowing that you have others out there that are feeling the same.

    I know I hide when I’m depressed, even call my therapist and say we need to take a break for a while, even while I’m tying a cinder block around my ankle before I jump, no no I’m fine really, just going for a little drive. LOL

    Maybe that’s the best time to blog. You can get into as little detail or as much as you want. Sometimes a post of two words might realease some of it, well maybe 4 words, LIFE SUCKS SEND HELP! And know I’ll coming running to lend you a hand. (yes another song reference) I may be half way around the world in upstate NY but know that I’m pulling for you, and hopefully you can feel the hug and support from here.

    Much love and a long deep breath,
    Heather

    • September 29, 2010
      Reply

      Oh wow Heather, thanks so much for spilling your guts on here too – that sounds so full-on, thank heavens for musical references and black comedy to see us through the dark times, huh? 🙂

      Haha, maybe I will try some short, summary blog entries when that happens. I guess it’s better just to be real and connect with people, rather than hide away. I just find it hard as well cos I feel a self-image crisis. Like, “I’m an upbeat person! So until I feel like an upbeat person again, I’m not leaving any record of this crappy persona in writing!”

      So silly.

      Lots of love back atchya my lovely upstate NY friend. I hope we meet in the not too distant future. xx

  7. Kerry
    September 29, 2010
    Reply

    Jenny, this blog inspired me to write about my true feelings. I get so frustrated thinking my whole life has to be sunshine and light. It’s only been a few hours since I posted it and already I’m getting notes of support from my friends who are going through the exact same thing as I am.

    We have to stop feeling ashamed of our feelings. The more I put out there the more I know I’m not alone and somehow it makes it a little better.

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