Let’s Talk Blogging: I’m Just Happy to Be Here

Confession time: I’ve always wanted to be a book blogger. This may be a strange aspiration to some, but to me, book blogging always represented a marriage of the two things I loved the most: reading and writing.

I’ve always been a writer, from the moment I could hold a pen (seriously, I wrote a book about a flower when I was four, my mom says it’s my first masterpiece). But before that, I was a reader, with my mom and by myself.

The mom and the blogger in question. I’m the tater tot.

Books offered an escape as a child – not from anything bad, but just because I loved them. Then, when I became a teenager, books offered a true escape from mental illness (undiagnosed and unnoticed at the time), loneliness, and a very unhealthy relationship.

I hit college and thought that to be a book blogger, I needed some kind of credentials. Then I got into freelance writing and learned that I needed nothing to be a reviewer, and that people would pay for honest reviews. To be fair, though, I hated freelance writing because I couldn’t write what I wanted. And I hated writing reviews for money, because I couldn’t read what I wanted, which meant I didn’t enjoy the book, which meant a bad review.

So let’s get to why I’m here today.

To do that, we have to talk about a few things: Bipolar Disorder, rock bottom, and starting over. I am diagnosed bipolar 1, and I didn’t know this until a couple of weeks ago when I came home from Portland – I had left for Portland in April because I went manic. I won’t go into depth, but I will say that I had been manic for pretty much months, and that I made some horrible decisions and hurt some people. And when I realized that I had done things and hurt people, I threw everything in the car (a crappy ’97 Honda Accord station wagon instead of my beloved Jeep Liberty – another bad decision made in the throes of mania) and I drove 2000 miles home while recovering from sepsis and everything I had done. What didn’t fit in the car got left behind. And I immediately went into the hospital for my illness when I got to Missouri, and then immediately after that, inpatient.

I have hit rock bottom. It tastes a little like cardboard and defeat, and a lot like lithium pills for me.

Now for starting over. I’m lucky enough to have parents I can come home to. I’m lucky in that I have a job now, that I’ll be able to keep it because I’m on the right medication. I’m lucky to have a diagnosis that fits instead of one that hurts me (did you know that taking antidepressants if your bipolar can trigger mania? I do now).

So what this book blog represents to me is starting over fresh. It’s being able to have an outlet and a hobby, and hopefully a community. Being mentally ill in the middle of Missouri is pretty tough, actually – not a lot of treatment options and not a lot of people willing and knowledgeable enough to help. But that’s what this blog means to me: a fresh start.

What does book blogging mean to you?

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7 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Blogging: I’m Just Happy to Be Here

  1. I’m so happy to have found your blog. I’ve been book blogging for over 15 years but I am also Bipolar, although #2. Antidepressants made me go manic too although on a smaller scale. I get dysphoric mania mostly so I get super angry, obsessive and anxious. Anyways I’m loving your posts so I will be checking back in for sure. Good for you for starting a book blog and writing about what you love.

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    1. My mania is… so new to me that I can’t really describe it yet. I just knew when I came out of it while inpatient that I was horrified by all the things I’d done while essentially out of my mind. It was like Jekyll and Hyde!

      I’m so glad to have you! Thanks for reading, I can’t wait to see more of you!!

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  2. I am sending you the biggest hugs, and I’m so happy you’re here. 🙂 I’m glad you got a diagnosis that fits you and seem to be on the right medication now. Yikes! That sounds like a pretty rough and terrifying journey you’ve been on, and I am actually sitting here with tears welling up at your paragraph where you say how lucky you are that you have parents to come home to, a job that you’ll be able to keep because you’re on the right meds, and the right diagnosis. As someone who struggles with mental illness and chronic illness myself, I know how easy it can be to let darkness and despair creep in, and I LOVE the positivism here.

    For me, blogging is also a creative outlet and a hobby, as well as a way of connecting with a community and making a hobby that’s normally so individual (reading) into something very social and connected. And readers are really pretty wonderful, beautiful people as a whole. ❤ I hope that this community can be one of the touchstones you need so you don't feel alone there in the middle of Missouri. 😉 Isn't that the power of the internet?

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    1. It was tough, yeah – but I hope that by putting my journey out there and my diagnosis in plain sight, I can connect with more people who need connections.

      This community is amazing and welcoming! I agree, the Internet has let us come together this way.

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  3. Just dropping in the comments to cheer you on! I am also happy that you are here, talking about books and stuff! I can only imagine all the tough times that you have to go through because of mental illness. Glad to hear that you are getting proper care now. Followed your blog, will definitely await for more awsum bookish posts from you.

    Jennilyn @ Rurouni Jenni Reads

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  4. I’m so glad that you got an accurate diagnosis and the treatment you need. AND that you got to accomplish your goal of being a book blogger! 🙂 I actually didn’t even realize that book blogs were a thing until shortly before I started one up myself–I had no idea what I was getting myself into!

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