During the time I have been writing on this blog a few commenters have said that I’m depressed. When this first happened I got so upset that I almost stopped blogging because of it. I deleted a lot of my posts that seemed too personal and started to vigorously self-censor what I wrote. This of course felt stilted and unnatural, and over the course of the last year or so, I have gone back to being more honest.
I can now say, with an inner sense of certainty, that I do not believe in the concept of depression, or in any other psychological diagnosis. I am also on a path towards not letting authority figures shape my reality. I will call whatever I feel whatever I want to call it, or not give it any name at all. If other people want to use the term depression or any other word to describe their feelings and emotions, I will respect their choice, but I will not apply these to terms to myself.
As I said in a previous post, words can hurt. Through blogging, I am teaching myself (through trial and error), to speak in a way that is not hurtful to others while still doing my best to accurately convey my truth. I am also learning how to do this by living in a shared housing environment. It has become clear during the past three years of blogging that various followers have left because I either offended them or they did not agree with my point of view. By losing and gaining followers, I get a certain kind of feedback regarding the way I communicate.
Jessica Valenti of the Guardian wrote an article this morning about “commenting” in which she said, “It shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m not fond of comments sections. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find many female writers who are. On most sites – from YouTube to local newspapers – comments are a place where the most noxious thoughts rise to the top and smart conversations are lost in a sea of garbage.”
I consider myself fortunate in that my blog attracts a very respectful group of people who have been overwhelmingly loving and supportive. Without this support, I probably would have given up on blogging a long time ago. So, while some comments seem off the mark, the vast majority are an integral part of me enjoying this experience and learning how to be a better communicator along the way. Two of my personal blogging rules pretty much cover everything regarding comments, 1) I will not engage in online arguments, and 2) I will not publish anything that comes across as mean-spirited.
Someone commented awhile back that she enjoyed reading my posts even though she did not always agree with my point of view. I guess I could say the same about comments, I enjoy reading them even though I don’t always agree with what is being said. Another person said that the comments I get are part of what she likes about my blog and I wholeheartedly agree with this. When I turned off commenting for a few months, I felt cut off from the flow of sharing that inspires and stimulates me.
So, to all who have commented, thank-you – and for anyone who wants to comment but hasn’t, commenting is welcome here.