Too Careful

imgresLast week I was inspired by blogger Kitt O’Malley’s succinct-but-potent post titled “No Trigger Alerts Here”.  Her writing served as a welcome catalyst to change my blogging perspective .  Hopefully my altered views will be reflected in this blog in the weeks to come.  However, as usual, I digress!

I was intrigued to learn what Kitt thought of trigger alerts, for I had published a blog post containing a suicide trigger alert on that same day.

In “No Trigger Alerts Here” Kitt asserts:

“I write from my heart and from my mind, not heeding any internal or external censor. That is how I think.  That is who I am.  Each individual reader must decide for themselves whether they can handle reading potentially disturbing material.  The best writing is often disturbing, mining the extremes of human experience.  Reading such works challenges us.  We must challenge ourselves. We must challenge the perceptions of others.”

I posted the following comment in response:

“Hmmmm.  I do agree, without a shred of doubt, that some of the best, most influential writing is disturbing.  I gravitate towards reading that kind of writing when I’m stable.

When I’m depressed it’s a different story.  Give me cotton candy reading, or actually when I’m really down, I sleep and even books can’t drag me out from under the covers and release me from despair.

When I write about suicide in detail, I feel obligated to post a trigger alert.  That sense of obligation comes from reading other bloggers who post trigger alerts – I basically thought it was the ‘thing to do’ in the blogging community, of which I still consider myself to be a newbie.  I admire that fact that you write what you wish to write without internal or external censors – the word that comes to my mind is “freeing”.   I will read anything you write without reservation or hesitation, as long as I am stable!!!”

One of the true beauties of blogging is when we learn from one another and not simply pontificate from up on high.  After reading Kitt’s post, I realized I’ve been really afraid to write posts that may offend readers – readers whom for the most part I’ll never meet.  I’ve been caught up with writing in a politically correct way to the point where my cautiousness has shut me down rather than fire me up.  I’ve felt stilted writing this blog for a long time, and I knew I was holding myself back.  But I had become complacent.  I’m a lazy person and that’s what us lazies generally do – change is scary.

Moreover, I’ve been avoiding writing in depth about topics that are on my mind every day such as body image, sex and bipolar, judgement, binging, family relationships, writer’s block and much more.  I’ve held back because some of my opinions won’t be popular, pretty, p.c., and certainly not poetic!   I’ve enjoyed reading about these subjects in others’ blogs, so it’s rather ridiculous that I don’t allow myself the same opportunity to write about what matters most to me.

The thought that what I write here could turn off someone “important” and “influential” career-wise down the line has lurked in my brain from the moment I started blogging. As long as I’m not throwing around racist terms or write offensively on purpose, it seems perfectly reasonable to write more freely about complicated topics.  Perhaps I’ll include topics and details that might make some sensitive readers press the “unfollow” button, but so be it.

Here’s another truth.  Even though I love to curse, whenever I’ve wanted to insert a foul word here or there in a blog post, I usually don’t do it.  In turn, by tamping down my true self, that has taken juice out of my writing. I’m stopping that habit now.  It’s pointless to freak out about any of this – I’m not even a career blogger  or have a zillion followers, so I don’t need to fret about losing a lot of readers, sponsors or blighting my reputation.

Today, June 1st, it seems like a good day to officially worry less about writing this blog.  I’m more excited than frightened about my resolution.  I may be potty-mouthed, “bipolar-wrinkled” (a topic for another day), frizzy-haired, and anxious, but I’m also silly, compassionate, creative and unique.  I have something unique to offer to the almighty blogosphere.

As a born Jew, I grew up being told that I couldn’t be too careful, and I took in that worldview with every fiber of my being.  While I’ll continue to be too careful in the “real world” in many respects, I will no longer be too cautious in this blog.

Too careful no more! 😉

For more of Kitt’s writing please follow her blog Kitt O’Malley – Life with Bipolar Disorder and Thoughts about God at:

http://www.kittomalley.wordpress.com

 

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17 thoughts on “Too Careful

  1. I think this is so great!! As you know, many of my posts are very explicit. Blogging is for you. Whether it be about informing on important political issues or venting about a steamy sesh with the hubby 😉 it’s for you. I thoroughly enjoy your blog and I’m stoked to read about the saucier side of you!!!!
    ~WK

    1. I LOVE reading your explicit posts! I always “like” them to let you know I was there even if I don’t comment – in them you completely bare your soul, the writing quality is awesome, and every post has something to say. I enjoy the racy ones quite a bit! It’s obvious you are writing for self-expression and not just for shock value. Thanks for your loyal support and encouragement – reading this comment last night made my evening a whole lot better!!!!! 🙂

  2. This is awesome. Having enjoyed so much of your stuff, I really look forward to a more “liberated” you. You can probably tell from some of my writing, this isn’t an area I have issues with. I’ve always been a bit of a “this is me, take it or leave it” type person and I’m trying to write by that same credo. As always, love your writing and look forward to more from you.

    1. Thanks SO much! I have been very moved by these supportive comments – they’ve made me feel happy and empowered, and I ‘m soaking it up like a giant sea sponge. I am very happy you read my blog and yes, your blog puts it all out there. That’s the kind of writing I want to do and I know I can do it – thanks, in part, to the fabulous encouragement of these comments. I look forward to more from you too!!!

  3. Thanks for the shout out, Dyane. I actually wrote a draft post last night revisiting the topic of trigger alerts. Still have more to add to it. May post it tomorrow.

    1. You are so welcome! I did read your latest post and it was compelling, to say the least – I’d expect nothing less from your blog!

  4. Congratulations on your resolution to be yourself. I find self censoring and hiding my me-ness exhausting out in the real world. It’s almost a self stigmatisation issue. Seeing our real selves as somehow unacceptable. Sure others may judge us at times but that says more about them than us.

    About being too careful: I was brought up that way too (in a secular sense) and it makes big decisions soooo damned hard! After a lifetime of “look before you leap” I’m trying to be more “he who hesitates is lost”.

    I’ve spent too long being lost on that account.

    All the best to you, and I for one will keep reading, no matter how colourful or ‘real’ you get.

    1. Dear James,reading your comment made me think “Yes! This is why I blog! ” Your words are the equivalent of a double mocha with extra chocolate and housemade whipped cream…plus sprinkles. I love how you phrase everything about self censoring etc. I am glad that you are no longer lost when it comes to hesitation about choices that matter. The fact you’ll keep reading these posts no matter what I wind up writing heartens my soul! You are James Soup for the Soul!

      1. Aw shucks!

        I think a core value I’ve discovered is that if I don’t speak for me, someone else will. If anything, I really do need to be able to control that message.

        I recently had a manager at work share my diagnosis with others. She attatched her judgement of what that means to her message. So I took action (it’s a breach of new Zealand human rights & privacy laws). I complained bitterly, had meetings with those she’d told so that they can hear from the horse’s mouth what I’m like as a person and what I face daily, what my family faces (my wife also has PTSD and bipolar II, and our daughter has Asperger’s anxiety and crohn’s).

        I think it imperitive that we own our identities and our stories. We are the placed folk to tell those tales. /rant

        I really appreciate when you post to your blog, it’s a connection to someone else’s experience makes my wife and I feel less like we have two heads and all that. So, thanks.

    1. Thank you so much – you, along with the other bloggers who commented here, truly inspire me with your brave, honest, riveting writing! 🙂 xo

    1. Thank you so much B!!!! Unfortunately I may just be swearing a lot more, ha ha ha! But now, I’ll be myself. You’ve been another amazing role model to me, one of the most outstanding. Love right back atcha!

  5. Hi Dyane, just want to comment on here and let you know I’m still alive, just leaving my online “responsibilities” possibly indefinitely so that I can get back to basics and go from there. I am enjoying the break right now. We are out visiting family and my dear mom-in-law is in the hospital in quite critical condition. We are praying for her recovery. Hope all is well with you.

    1. Doreen!!!! OMG – I’m so glad to hear from you! Yes, I was wondering what happened as I didn’t have a chance to read your going offline message and I could have kicked myself. I totally understand your decision and I miss you!!!!!! I’m glad you are enjoying the break! Sorry to hear about your mother-in-law and will pray for her. Thank you so much for taking the time to pop on the computer – just in case you don’t have it, my personal email is dyane@baymoon.com. If you decide to return online, please let me know. Either way, I “get it”. I took a long offline break myself and it was the right decision. Love & hugs and hope you see this! xoxoxoxoxoxo

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