Have You Used Your Voice Lately?

by Amber on June 12, 2011

Let’s face it. Blogging is a rather narcissistic pastime. We put our words out there every day, assuming others will find our lives as fascinating as we do (and leave us comments to tell us so).

But blogging can be much more than that. It can be a way to connect. A way to reach out. A way to embrace strangers and help them feel less alone.

A hand reaching out (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mnsc/2768392379/sizes/m/in/photostream/)

Photo courtesy of MNSC (http://bit.ly/jfgcv0)

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about depression. A post I agonized over more than most. I’m not sure why—it wasn’t the first time I wrote about it. But as my audience grows bigger, the risks of exposing myself also grow. After all, I’m not hiding behind a pseudonym here. I am indeed Amber Page, and lordy am I google-able.

So I posted it, took it down, and (after a long talk with myself), put it back up. It made me uncomfortable to do so, but something in me told me it was the right thing to do.

A few days later, I got an email. From a stranger. A stranger who was experiencing many of the same symptoms I had, and who was having just as much trouble getting the help she needs. She asked me for advice.

I was floored. I mean who am I to try and help others? Not a doctor, or even a nurse. Just a blogger who spills her guts to the internet and hopes it never comes back to bite her in the ass.

But she didn’t need medical advice. She just needed someone who understood. Who would listen and tell her she wasn’t crazy. And that she was right to think her doctors were missing the boat. She needed someone to tell her she wasn’t (isn’t) alone.

I got the profound honor of being that person.

We emailed back and forth a few times. I gave her a little advice, a lot of pep talks and a great big virtual hug.

I haven’t heard from her since—and that’s okay. It’s enough to know that I helped (even if it was just a little bit). That my words made a difference to someone. That by speaking up, by putting myself out there, I helped someone else feel less alone.

That’s what it’s all about, people.

So the next time you’re about to hit publish on a post that scares you? That makes you feel vulnerable and exposed? Just close your eyes and do it.

Our words have power. Use it for good.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen June 12, 2011 at 10:05 pm

This is so beautiful and totally why blogging is awesome.
Jen recently posted..My Kid Makes the Darndest Things

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Amber June 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Bloggy friends like you make it awesome, too!

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Erin June 13, 2011 at 3:30 am

So it is 3AM and I can’t sleep. I open my laptop to fumble around on the Internet, hoping to find sleep – but there you are. As always. With a timely, poetic post that captures the essence of what I need to hear, EXACTLY when I need to hear it.

Your words are a gift to SO MANY.

Thank you for spilling them here:)
Erin recently posted..Obsession

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Amber June 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

And you are one of the reasons I keep doing it! You always say just the right thing. Thank you!

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Allison @ Alli n Son June 13, 2011 at 6:03 am

That is so awesome amber. I’m so glad that you could help someone. It makes blogging worth while, doesn’t it?
Allison @ Alli n Son recently posted..Baked Turkey Meatballs with Sweet Peanut Butter Sauce

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Elisa June 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm

That is so true. I have sometimes agonized over a post I had written, wondering if I was sharing too much, or just worrying without knowing what I was worrying about.

And yet, those are the posts people seem to respond to the most! Thank you for the reminder! I hope you are doing better.

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Amber June 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

They are, aren’t they? I am absolutely fine – I haven’t had any issues in quite a while! Thanks, though!

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Janet June 13, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I’m sure that post helped, and will help, more people than you’ll ever know.

I’ve been debating going back on meds for my depression. I was on them for a couple years, then life got easier, and I have been off for a couple years. But things are getting really hard again. Work, personal life, all kinds of stuff.

I had this epiphany this weekend that a couple horrifying times in my life (like years and years ago) proably would have been sooooooo much more tolerable had I been on medication then. So, I’ve decided it’s okay to go back on something right now, or as long as I need to.
Janet recently posted..OCD Or Just Good Sense

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Amber June 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Good for you. You’ve got to take care of yourself – even if that means meds (I fight against ‘em too).

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Rebecca June 13, 2011 at 6:01 pm

All the connections and people reaching out to offer kind words. Yep, the blogging world is awesome
Rebecca recently posted..More On Potty Training

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Amber June 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm

It is indeed. Bloggers unite!

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Jessica - This is Worthwhile June 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Oh yes. The Scary Post. I’ve been doing nothing but lately it seems. But you’re totally right. There’s always that one lurker who reaches out to say, THANK YOU, and ME TOO. Such powerful words.
Jessica – This is Worthwhile recently posted..This shouldnt be easier

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Amber June 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

I know, right? It makes it all worth it…at least most of the time.

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