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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

How open are you?    With your spouse or significant other?  With your kids?  Your boss?  Your parents?  On a blog?

It’s an interesting question.  How authentic, how personal do you get?  Obviously these questions arise particularly on journal type blogs like mine, which by their very nature are intimate, and yet distant.  Even though I’m trying to be anonymous-y to the search engines (at least you’d have to know me or look for me), I remain committed to the idea that true communication happens only when we are willing to be vulnerable.  I’ve been around long enough to know that there is truly no privacy in cyberspace, and precious little IRL.  It’s all out there, so you better be OK with who you are.  Or at least I used to think so.

Then I went to “group” for three months.  “Group” is the euphemism we used at the psychiatric hospital for the severe mood disorders program.  “I’m going to group,” I’d say and head out the door in the morning.  Sounded a lot better than “I’m going to brain treatment” or “Behavioral Health Care”.  Group was really very interesting.  There was a wide range of ages, races, men and women, from body-pierced punk 19 year olds to an elderly Indian gentleman doctor, with plenty of housewives, students, a barista or two, a sheriff, and me, the pastor.  We were black and white, hispanic and asian.  It wasn’t a group of people who would ever meet socially in real life, and yet there was a closeness there that is hard to describe.  We all had been through it.  Depression, or bi-polar, anxiety disorders, all severe enough that normal life had become untenable, at least for a while.

I learned a lot about behavioural-cognitive theory, and talked some, and listened more.  We talked about our need to find places to express how we were feeling, and I was surprised at the number of people who said that they didn’t even have one person they could honestly talk to.  Not a single person in their life that they trusted that completely.  We had a long discussion about setting boundaries of who was safe, and who was not, to tell our stories.  I just recently started seeing a new therapist, and she’s one of the good ones.   I just got that vibe… she’s real.  She get’s it.  But isn’t always easy to tell, and being let down happens.  How do you know when someone is safe to share with?  Can be trusted?  Will be loving even if they disagree or disapprove or are disappointed by you?

I’ve been so blessed in having Flash with me through this all.  It has meant a lot to have my best friend and husband willing to walk this precarious path with me.  And on days like today, when I’m struggling to cope with normal routines through waves of panic attacks, it means a lot to have him by my side. 

I’ve always been somewhat of an over-sharer.  If you’ve ever heard me preach, you know that applying the scripture to my everyday life is the lens through which I see God.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.    I let it all out and trust that others will be honest and upfront with me in return.  Now that I’m middle-aged, I no longer expect that everyone will respond.   Some people simply find it frightening, to hear truth spoken by anyone.  To put aside unnecessary pleasantries for depth.  But I can say that for the most part the people I truly care about are willing to try authenticity. 

But now, like never before, I’m wounded.  And so, carefully, carefully, I’m trusting.  I had a wonderful lunch this morning with a dear colleague and gave her the whole story of the past two years of stress that brought me to the brink, far more than I will post publically.  I really want to focus here on the future, how I’m changing, what I’m becoming.   I’m carefully selecting how I post links to my blog on Facebook (not everyone sees them) and who I go into more detail with.  If you are one of those who is safe, who gets it, please come back.  Listen.  Respond.  If you aren’t, then… hey, look, squirrel!  Over there!  Now delete that link…

The technology is enticing.  There is possibility here.  Be authentic.  Speak your truth, but never have to see the face look back in disappointment or anger.  I finally get the whole blog thing.  I need it.  On days like today.

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