I have a constant temptation with this blog to post things that I see online that I can relate to. There’s no shortage of them, especially on Tumblr; graphics and images of things that make me go “this expresses how I feel perfectly!”
They can be both negative and positive. There are images of encouragement of how things could be (many of which I find to be shallow and cliche), but there are also the depressing ones that describe how things are now. For some reason the negative ones feel better, I guess because it’s more cathartic, and I won’t deny to having a folder of them saved to my PC. But even though I have nights were I seek the comfort of seeing such images, I don’t think they’re actually helpful, and that’s what I want this blog to be.
I’ve done cathartic. I’ve seen the images, written the sad poetry, and had the anonymous dark blog where I wrote about ‘how I really feel’. And on the opposite pole, I’ve done the encouraging. I’ve read the encouraging quotes, written positive poetry, and had a positive blog where I wrote about the positive thoughts that I’ve had, or tried to have - things that I never believed but tried to. And while I guess I haven’t given up on trying to make depression ‘social’ -of having it online instead of a local document- I feel as though I’m done with the social catharsis.
I guess my reason is what I said earlier: I don’t feel it helps. Especially if you do both positive and negative; in the past when I’ve done both, whichever state I was in, seeing the opposite always made me feel worse, either seeing the fall from the past positive or the looming continued existence of the negative. But I also think that it just takes too much effort, maybe not even in finding the images but just being exposed to the constant deluge. I feel like a constant stream of negatives, cathartic as they may be, subtly reinforces “this is how it is, this is how it is, this is how it is”, and on the flipside, the sweet-sounding “turn that frown upside down” positive cliches make me gag from cynicism, hopelessness, bitterness, or a combination of the three.
I don’t judge people who do indulge such blogs nor can I conclusively say that it’s harmful or even disruptive. Like I said, the temptation is constantly there for me but that’s not what I want for this blog. I want this to be productive. As time goes on I want to be able to go back and read how things are, now how I feel. I want to see my dashboard as a place to work out my current and next steps, not a place to find the perfect phrase or image to capture the ongoing emotions. At the very worst case, at the end of my life, whenever that may be, I want to at least have a memoir - a chronicle of the journey, that it truly was a journey and not just a collection of many different ways to express one horrible feeling.