It’s been a year since I started this blog. A year since I sat in a hospital waiting room while a loved one underwent a surgery that was supposed to only be 4 hours, but lasted almost nine, and so I decided to see what this thing called WordPress was all about.
A year ago, instead of raiding the hospital cafeteria and emotionally eating my way through that nine hours, I figured out this thing called a blog. Well, I figured out how to reserve a domain name and post a piece. Baby steps.
It’s been a year, and I haven’t written as much as I wanted to, but I have written. And that was really the point.
I have always written as my best means of communication. Letters, cards, journals, diaries, essays. Writing has always provided my soft place to land. It was something I always did when I needed to sort through my thoughts and feelings, make a decision or just express myself. I felt like a writer. I wanted to be a writer.
When I married my first husband, I left my job at a law firm and moved to Colorado where we were beginning our life together. My husband knew that the law wasn’t something I saw myself “doing” for the long term, and my hope was to pick up freelance work and then something more regularly – he was creating websites at the time, and I was doing a lot of the copy for him and submitting elsewhere here and there. Contemplating a book. Brainstorming ideas.
And then, just like that, my husband was dead and I just stopped writing. That thing, writing, that always provided me solace, I stored away with all my husband’s belongings and our keepsakes. While it had always been the one way I allowed myself to work through any difficulties I faced, I forbid myself from partaking in that relief. The reality is that I felt like I didn’t deserve to feel better. I didn’t deserve to work through my shit. My pain. My grief. I deserved to be miserable. So, I just stopped writing. Self-punishment in the worst way. No journaling. No letters. Nothing. Necessary emails were about the extent of what I wrote. If my husband was gone and took his own life because he felt so alone and unable to manage the life we were trying to create, I deserved to be alone and miserable and dying inside too. I didn’t deserve to be comforted. I didn’t deserve to find peace. So, I just stopped writing.
And, all that self-punishment took its toll. I lost a huge part of myself when my husband died. I lost almost all of myself when I kept myself from using the one tool that would get me to the other side.
I joined Facebook in 2008. It was my first foray into the social media world. I had no idea what I was doing. But before long, I realized I couldn’t wait to write my next status update or note. All of a sudden I was using Facebook as a means to write again. 6 years after my husband died. The only other piece I had written was a piece about my husband’s death, which ran in a newsletter for the support group I attended. Friends started telling me TO WRITE. Stop limiting myself to bits and pieces allowed on Facebook and start this thing called a blog. And, I really wanted to. But then I was re-married and then we were trying to get pregnant and then and then and then and then. Always the excuses.
When Robin Williams died, I felt a need to write about it like I had not felt a need to write in a really long time. So, while waiting for my loved one to make it to out of surgery, I used my nervous energy to do what I had wanted to do (but was scared to do) for so long. Mamalawmadingdong was born with a first post called Enough. And, with that post, I think I breathed, really breathed for the first time in a hell of a long time. A huge part of me was making her way back. And, damn, did it feel GOOD.
I haven’t been as consistent as I wanted to be. I haven’t always tackled the topics I swore I would. It’s been a real education in a lot of ways. It takes a thick skin – a thicker skin than I have a lot of the time – to do this blogging thing! My blog site still isn’t visually appealing (I know! I know!), but hey, now I know how to link articles and insert pictures. Huge progress.
I wasn’t sure if anyone would really be interested in what I had to write, and I am always so touched when people take the time to comment or send me messages. My hope for the year ahead is to be more consistent. To take more risks. To be more vulnerable. To open myself up and to embrace this long lost part of me fully.
Thanks for being here with me for the last year. I can’t wait to see what this next year brings.
Please come join me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/mamalawmadingdong