How Blogging Saved Me

Tonight I was inspired by a secret that was posted over at Brandy’s blog. Someone shared how they are battling severe depression and the only thing keeping them from thinking about suicide is the blogging community. This struck something within me. Although I cannot say I understand this secret completely (because I am not fighting thoughts of suicide), I can still relate, to a certain extent.

In a way, I feel like blogging saved me.

When I first started blogging I had no idea how much the blog community would mean to me. (Well, I didn’t even know there was a blog community!) Blogging was simply a way to pass the time and entertain myself. I had just moved to New York and knew very few people. I was beginning my first semester of graduate school and wanted another “hobby” so to speak. I wrote posts consisting of lists of my daily activities. I posted pictures of my polka dot rain boots because I thought they were cute (and they so were!). My posts were not meaningful or thought out. I didn’t have a purpose for my blog other than to write whatever I felt, whenever I felt like it. I didn’t “know” anyone in the blogging community and I only read a handful of blogs regularly.

I kept writing for several months, still with little direction. Until one day, out of nowhere, friendships began growing. I found 20SB. Emails were sent back and forth. I signed up for Twitter.Β  At that time blog community was a place for me to interact with my new friends and stay connected with their lives through their blogs. I still didn’t know what blogging would come to mean to me, though.

Then, in May 2008 my dad died. I was… well, I fell apart. I struggled to look like I was holding myself together, but I couldn’t. All I could think to do was turn to my blog. So I did. I wrote.

It saved me. When nothing else made me feel better, writing did.

And then C and I broke up in September. Again, I turned to my blog. I wrote some more.

It saved me, again.

You saved me. Your comments and emails. Your support pulled me through. When I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning, I thought of the blog posts you would write (and I knew I would love reading), so I pulled myself up to turn on my computer. You got me out of bed when nothing else could. Those nights when I lay on the couch crying and thinking my life would never get better, the one thought that made me consider a brighter day, that sliver of hope for the future, was because of blogging.

You, friends, saved me.

And since then you have seen me through my whirlwind months of dating. You were there when I graduated with my Master’s. You were there when I left New York and moved back home. And you’re still here.

Now I try to use blogging as my own personal, free form of therapy. I write when my heart is heavy. I write when I am happy, sad, excited, or angry. I write to feel better. And luckily enough I am still able to continue my awesome friendships at the same time.

So, thank you, friends. Each and every one of you. You mean everything to me. Everything.

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21 responses to “How Blogging Saved Me

  1. This is such an honest post Ashley. I have always thought that the blogging community is an amazing one and never imagined how important blogging would be to me.

  2. chasingparadise

    I wish I’d had my blog back in 2005 when my dad died and my whole world fell apart. I was really alone in all of that. Even though I had friends, I didn’t feel comfortable really talking about it. Writing would have helped. I’m glad you had yours to help you through it.

  3. I love this post! It’s so honest and heartfelt. I love the blogging community and all it has to offer. Now only if I had more friends it would be wonderful. πŸ™‚

    I have loved your blog from the first day I have been reading. I’m glad that we have been there for you and have helped you out when you needed it.

  4. I feel so much the same- I never thought that my blog would bring such amazing people into my life or support me as much as it has. And while I haven’t needed that support as much as you have, I’m so glad it’s been there and I’m glad we’ve been able to be here for you.

  5. Can I fly to Austin and hug you? The honesty in this post has given me goosebumps. It’s true that the blogging community is great, but I don’t think anyone knows how great it is until they are a part of it.

  6. What a beautiful post.

    I love thinking back on how blogging has changed my life–it has, it really has. I started writing for a lot of your reasons, sounds like; I was in a new place, was feeling really lonely, and just had a lot to say and no one really to listen. So I wrote. Then I read, and then the comments came, and the e-mails, and ultimately the phone calls; the real people who really cared. I’ve made some of my best DC girlfriends through the blog, which I didn’t expect AT ALL (pseudo-anonymity, hence). It’s just so rare to find a place to really be so real–and to be so accepted.

    The blog means something different to me now; I really have grown with it. Still, though, this internet space is one of the neatest places, and I feel so fortunate to have fallen into it–and into e-friendship with you!

    xo!

  7. Reading this is exactly why I love the 20sb community. As much backfighting and unnecessary drama occurs, there is a lot more of us who will rally around, support and cheer for each other.

    great post.

  8. This just made me tear up. I feel the exact same way. Blogging is a beautiful thing, really. One that I didn’t expect to find either.

    You’re amazing. πŸ™‚

  9. Thank you for sharing love – this is a great post. Also, I never saw Brandy’s blog before you shared it and now I’m very intrigued.

  10. This post gave me goosebumps because I feel like I could have wrote it.

    I feel the exact same way. I started blogging when I moved far from home and was in a new city with no friends. For a long time I wrote and didn’t feel like anyone was reading, then all of a sudden comments, emails, tweets, facebook messages started coming in and I had all these new friends who I had never even met.

    I’ve been trying to find the words to write a post about the blogging community for awhile and this post that you wrote almost made me cry at my desk!

    XO

  11. Great post Ashley! People who aren’t bloggers just don’t get what a powerful impact having a blog can have on your life. Blogging has been a great form of therapy for me. There is such an amazing, supportive community here. It’s hard to explain to people who are outside of it.

  12. Yay! Great post. πŸ™‚ We love you (and miss you!)

  13. Good, good post. It really is funny how no one has any idea how tight the blogging community can be – and then once you’re in it, you can’t imagine living without it.

  14. I never realized blogging could be such a powerful thing until I started myself. Now I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have the opportunity to share and vent in a community that accepts me without judgement. I heart 20SB.

  15. Blogging took me by surprise in the same way. And it’s saved me in many ways in which I didn’t know I needed to be saved. I think I would be okay if I’d never started blogging, but I would really be missing out.

  16. I totally agree! When I think no one in the world understands or sympathizes, someone in the BC does. IT is amazing.

    Keep going girl!

  17. This blog made me smile.

    Know what else made me smile? Finally finding your blog again?! Gosh! I changed names, then you did, but now we’re back together! πŸ˜€

    THE OLD DONT CALL ME KATHLEEN πŸ˜€

  18. I totally related to this post, both because the blogging community has really helped me in the past and also because I remember when I first started reading your blog and everything that happened after that.

  19. I feel the same exact way, especially when it comes to breakups! ❀ love you girl!

  20. the honesty here is really touching. i can completly relate to you and to the secret at brandy’s blog. I have struggeled with depression for so long, 12 – 13 years. My entire adult life. Last fall my life fell apart, the man I thought I was going to marry eft me, and kicked me out of the appartment we lived in. I became so sad, and suicidal. I started my blog and it was a great way to communicate with people because there was no real expectations. I could talk to people whenever I wanted, it be the middle of the night. I didn’t have to get out of bed to do so, or put my make up on. Perfect at the time!

  21. I love the blogging world! It’s such a nice outlet for ourselves and others to meet and support each other.

    I’m glad we’re here to support you!

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